Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Are We Learning for Earning or for Living?

A recent article in Education Week asks this important question about the purpose of education.
The late historian Paul Gagnon, viewing schools through the lens of democracy, suggested three aims: preparing young people for (1) work, (2) citizenship, and (3) private culture. Within this framework, schools empower citizens to participate in the economy, to serve the community and have an informed voice in public decisions, and to enjoy a rich personal life nourished by the freedom to choose from all that the human experience has to offer. Gagnon also emphasized that, in a democracy, government-supported schools, at least, have the obligation to offer a first-class program of studies to every student. There are no second-class citizens, so there can be no second-class schooling-no mere training for worker-bees; no Delta indoctrinations from the Brave New World.
Read the entire article here.

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