Thursday, March 10, 2011

Essay(3): Purpose of Education ... #purposed

"The Beginning of learning starts with the precise meaning of words."

Therefore the meanings I attribute to words associated with education are:

1) Education provides enabling competencies
2) Training develops proficiency with in the competencies
3) Qualification assesses that required competencies and/or proficiencies
have been attained
4) Certification is formal record that accepted qualification processes have
been completed and that the required competencies and/or proficiencies have
been attained


1) Pupils lack the basic tools and competencies for communication and
participation with in their society/culture. The teacher's role is to impart
these essential competences whether the pupil wants them or not.
2) Students are self-learners guided and assisted by mentors
3) Scholars are independent, free thinking, self-guided, self-learners

The purpose of 10 years of compulsory schooling is to turn pupils into
students, into scholars. People are provided with a 10 year opportunity in
which they can learn as much or as little as they like. A free and healthy
democracy is dependent on a population of scholars.

The question to me thus, is not so much as, what is the purpose of
education, but what are the essential competences that pupils should be
imparted with? Once the pupils have become students then future learning is
their choice.

The environment is dynamic, transformative adaptive. The very presence of
life in the environment changes the environment. Thus the environment today
is not the environment will find self in tomorrow: most especially within
the artificial environment of industrial society. It is a problem if the
teachers are Neanderthals and the children are Homo sapiens. The parents are
hunter/gatherers and the offspring are farmers. Children are "Tomorrow
People" and they need to be educated for tomorrows world, not yesterdays.
But what is tomorrows world going to be like: will it be filled with Eloi
and Morlocks, will the Eloi be wired to the Matrix? To what extent are we to
be considered drones within the hive: a hive provided by the machinery of
industrial society?

Humans are supposed to be the most intelligent and adaptable creature on
earth: yet it seems such capacity is schooled out. Or is it? Every street
kid that steals is adapted and potentially just as independent as any
employee. But their adaptive response to the environment they find
themselves in is not socially acceptable: on the other hand neither entirely
are the actions of business and government. These tribes, these warriors,
are trying to maintain control over the resources that they hold. The
economy does not work on the principle of supply to demand. Each and
everyone is born into the environment with limited access to useful
resources: no access to land from which to gather or grow food. Each
individual therefore has to initiate and sustain a series of transactions
which exchanges the resources they have for the resources they need.

Educating engineers, carpenters, teachers is as useful as making gears for a
machine nobody wants. The dynamic nature of the environment means that
decisions have to be made in the face of risk and uncertainty. It is
potentially easier to find work and create a business than it is to find an
employer that can provide fulltime employment: 95% of businesses are small
business with a signnificant proportion being self-employed persons. The one
benefit animals have over plants is mobility. Cities are plants, humans are
animals. People need to be more mobile, and education needs to enable such
mobility and adaptability.