My original response to Doug and Andy’s #purposed tweet was;-
"I think the purpose of education is a life-long quest to understand, question, evaluate, create, imagine & experience."
My new thoughts-
‘Let us in education dream of an aristocracy of achievement arising out of a democracy of opportunity’ Thomas Jefferson
I think the purpose of education is to provide opportunities and to continue to provide these opportunities throughout life.
I left school with 1 ‘O’Level and do not have any ‘A’ levels-yet I now have a degree in Education and have a qualification that enables me to be a school Head teacher.
On my Secondary school permanent record it states that my future job prospects were ‘Unemployable’. I had friends whose career advice at school was ‘You’ve got no brains-so be a Joiner, Brickie or Plasterer.’ and ‘You’ll never amount to anything but you could be a car mechanic.’
Ironically those that did become Joiners, Mechanics, Builders and Plasterers have done very well-most have their own businesses. Some of my friends became Doctors, Surgeons and University Professors. This was despite their 1980’s Inner City Secondary education, not because of it.
I spent 10 years working in the retail sector, I enjoyed it but after being made redundant three times realised that I needed qualifications. I took the opportunity to do a University ‘Access’ course and at the ripe old age of 28 became a teacher.
Yet this would not have happened without an opportunity, a second chance.
‘All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have as an equal opportunity to develop our talents.’
John F. Kennedy
I believe in the education of the ‘whole’ child,I think that the purpose of education is to provide opportunities to nurture the talent in whatever discipline, be it academic, creative, sporting or arts. When I was at school I wasn’t interested in academic achievement but loved playing sport. In my 1980’s comprehensive school this wasn’t celebrated but merely trivialised as a ‘distraction’ and 25 years later there is still an inequality of opportunity.
Is it equal that children from poorer homes achieve so much less than those from the richer ones? Given the obvious differences in the quality of wealthier pupils’ lives and their parents who have succeeded in education – compared with those whose lives are dominated by debt, poverty and poor housing and whose parents have only negative recollections of school, it is not difficult to realise that the two groups cannot compete equally in their Education. But why not?
‘Education is a social process. Education is growth. Education is, not a preparation for life; education is life itself.’
Can’t we offer these equal opportunities in all disciplines, dress them up and make them appealing to all students-whatever age? Shouldn’t we encourage this choice and value its diversity?
I now think that the purpose of Education is to create equal opportunities for life-long learning and to encourage and respect choice in whatever discipline.
Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"