Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What’s The Point Of School (Part Two)

From the preface:
“[quoting Winston Churchill] “The only time my education was interrupted was while I was at school.”

The purpose of education is to prepare young people for the future.  Schools should be helping young people to develop the capacities they will need to thrive.  What they need, and want, is the confidence to talk to strangers, to try things out, to handle tricky situations, to stand up for themselves, to ask for help, to think new thoughts.”

My thoughts
I’m not sure if Winston Churchill was making a deliberate commentary on the education system when he said this, but sadly it seems accurate.  Instead of being educated according to the noble purpose presented above, students learn to stop asking questions that will develop themselves as people.  Their focus is instead upon passing assessments and meeting requirements for literacy standards that have little bearing upon the real world due to their formulaic and predictable nature.  The real world is not so neat and tidy and real people need to be able to cope with the unexpected.

I would frame the situation as such:
We should be aiming for personal development and character building, developing an understanding of the base principles of learning, rather than focusing on such narrow measures of academic ability as exam results.

I have three concepts upon which I would build my ideal education system.  Creativity, discipline, and altruism.  I have written about these things on my parkour blog in the context of parkour.