Goals of Education
--Originally published at hstein98
The discussion if public and private education should prepare for the life in a peaceful society is optional. Many teachers just care for teaching their topic or class. As this is accepted in large parts oft the educational sector, there is really no other reason to analyze this issue than “curiosity”.
In a workshop a secondary teacher once shared that he was proud of his work record, 30 years of teaching. I asked him what he was proud of in particular, why he thought that the contribution he made to the society with his work was valuable. He did not add much to his claim, sharing that just being a teacher for 30 years should be a kind of “self-explaining” for the contributions he made.
Only certain kinds of public and private education are a benefit for the society. We might just think of the chemical engineers who elaborated the poison gas which killed millions of people. They were well prepared in a technical sense, but lacked certain moral values. We may remember the communication specialists who helped that a great part of the population got convinced of straight forward lies. They had learned their trade well, but did not perform it in an “ethical sense”.
First we have to define in which society we want to live, before we can discuss what education best prepares for a life in this society. We all have different ideas and concerns. Here is my suggestion. I want to live in a society in which the basic needs of all its members are met, meaning:
* Food: Each and everyone in this society has sufficient food so that his or her nutritional requirements are met.
* Shelter: Every person in this society has a decent place to live, which protects him or her from weather conditions and which avoids the accumulation of hundreds of people in the same place.
* Education: Each member of the society has the right of the acquisition and development of knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate for each individual. Individuals can find out “what” and “who” they want to be, the educational system helps them to reach their personal and professional goals.
* Work: Every human being in this society has the right to a decent place of work to make a worthwhile contribution to the community. There may be no guarantee that the occupation exactly fits the prior education, but everyone should have a chance to “share and contribute”.
* Environment:Every being has the right to live in an environment free of contamination. Air, soil, water and food should be free of contaminants and in no way represent a threat to the individual and public health.
* Freedom: The individual has the right to determine how he or she wants to live his or her life. Education fosters the practice of this right for the individual and public welfare.
I am sure that educational paradigms and systems exist, which can make these ideals happen.