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Thread: What is the purpose of Education ?

  1. #1
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    Question What is the purpose of Education ?

    Question 1 : What do you think is the main purpose of education in general (at school, at home, by self-learning...) ?

    1) Is it first of all do get a good job and make money ?

    2) Is it to be able to cope with life on the whole, such as coping with daily difficulties, getting a right attitude, behave properly in social situations, managing one's house and finances, etc.

    3) Is it for self-improvement, self-fulfilment and knowledge for its own sake ?

    4) Other purpose

    I'd go for (2) as the most important, as somebody with the right mindset can later learn by him/herself, and eventually get a good job.

    Question 2 : Who should teach what ?

    Personally, I think that parents should teach about (2), while (3) should come from oneself. (1) depends a lot on what job one wants to do. Some jobs can be learned from parents, friends or by oneself, but many require an academic diploma. However the diploma does not necessarily mean that that school/university taught the person everything. They could have learned by themselves too.
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    I would also go mainly with (2), but I think (3) is quite tied-in with it. Self-improvement and self-fulfilment are often linked with coping, managing one's life, and social issues. I work in adult learning and a lot of people who return to learning years after having left school (often with few or no qualifications) decided they wanted to learn something out of a 'coping' motivation (e.g. to understand their kids' homeworks, to manage their finances, to write letters/emails), but this is also all tied up with ideas about self-improvement (it's surprising how often people say 'I wanted to better myself'). They often have a low self-confidence because of not being able to cope well in certain situations. And when they begin to learn, they gain confidence, not only in the skill they are learning specifically, but also in social interactions if they are attending a class. A lot of times, people are nervous to attend a class for the first time, they are afraid people will think they are stupid or something, and mostly they discover it isn't like that, they can do well, they meet new people, make friends and stuff.

    Who should teach what...?
    I think that the 'learning for its own sake' naturally comes from the individual, and should do, you can't force someone to enjoy learning 'for its own sake', by its very nature it comes from the person.
    I agree that parents should teach about (2), but it can also come from the person, even if they have not had it from their parents, as a motivation for them. (Like the people I mainly know of through my work, a lot of them had not got this motivation at all when they were younger, but discovered it for themselves later on in life.)

    For (1), I think that's partly the job of educational establishments (school, college, uni etc.), and in addition, I think that employers should invest more in training/educating people. If they want the best staff for the job, they should make that investment. It can be helped (in a cheaper way) by 'buddying' and work-shadowing schemes, where you learn from a colleague rather than going on a formal course. Not all of 'learning' consists of something you get a certificate for! For some kinds of jobs, particularly the more practically-orientated ones, it seems that from outside, learning of the practical skills is hardly considered to be an 'education' at all (by comparison with going to uni and getting qualifications). But what matters is having the skills to do the job.

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    Home education, school ducation or self-learning, these three style can not lack of any one.

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