So, what is the role of education anyway?

We often talk about working backwards, and ‘starting with the end in mind’ but have you ever done it with education?

School is just one of those things that we do.

It has become a part of natural human life to start school when you’re a child and make your way through until you leave as a teenager.

But… why do we do it? What is the purpose?

This is a thought process which I have been diving into recently.

I am by no means saying school has no purpose… In fact, I am doing the exact opposite.

If you’re a parent, a student, or a teacher, think about what the purpose of school is. Why do you think we have schools?

In my eyes, in it’s most simple form, the purpose is to educate our young people how to harness their curiosity and contribute to society once they leave.

Odds are you came to a similar conclusion.

Do we fit the purpose?

However, if the purpose of a school is to prepare our younger generation for the adult world, surely we have to adjust our education system to fit it’s purpose.

In the past, you could study, land a factory job and live a comfortable life; you could afford a house, afford a family, and if you didn’t do anything silly with your money, could live quite comfortably.

Now, it is a little different.

Now we live in a world of automation and ease. Jobs that can be automated are being automated. The new workforce is one where you can really write your own path and in some ways, write your own job description.

Although, our school systems, in many ways, still teach in a way that is suited for the life of a compliant worker. We (teachers) tell you when to talk, when to think, how you should pay attention, and how to use educational tools.

This is where the clash comes in…

via GIPHY

No, not that ‘clash’.

The main clash is that we teach skills that were suitable for the workforce 40 years ago and not a world where you have to go out and ‘get yours’.

Sure, there are outside ways to get these new skills, but there is a lot of hard conversations and decisions to be made sooner rather than later.

Final thought…

What do you think the role of education is? How do you see it fit into our society?

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