What is the Purpose of Education?

There are many opinions about the purpose of education in our country. It can be hard for teachers to figure out their role until they decide what education means to them.

Determining the purpose of education can be difficult for teachers, especially when administrators and legislators implement rubrics and standards that seem to disrupt rather than improve the system. By adhering to a few key principles, teachers can more easily identify their role in the classroom and help create successful students.

Cultivate Critical Thinking

purpose of educationChildren who study hard might be able to repeat information in class or recall facts to answer correctly on exams, but this doesn’t help cultivate the ability to think critically about issues. Teachers can’t assign lessons that require children to memorize information and expect them to succeed. It isn’t enough for students to simply know facts on the road toward academic and career success. By showing students how to reason, analyze, understand, and reflect upon the processes through which they use and apply information, teachers can administer lessons while cultivating crucial developmental skills.

Pinpointing Student Passions

purpose of educationWith each student, teachers notice different priorities, interests, and passions. Whether a student enjoys promoting environmental responsibility, debugging software, or cultivating artistic talent, teachers should examine the topics that excite their pupils and incorporate these interests into lessons. Not only will students become more engaged when they can see themselves in and relate to lessons, teachers will find greater purpose of education when they are able establish deeper connections with children.

Providing Students with a Purpose

purpose of educationFor many students, school seems to be the traditional course through which they must travel to reach adulthood. Children might not realize that their school experiences, interactions, and behaviors all contribute to the person they will become. Relay to students that the purpose of education is not only academic, but also promotes their growth as a contributing member of society. Teachers should recognize opportunities to instill valuable lessons regarding empathy for others, working through problems, collaborating on projects as a team, and debating issues through reason without igniting conflict. These lessons will ensure students are prepared for life after they leave the classroom.

Though these are only a few of the ways through which educators can find and promote a comprehensive purpose of education, there exist key components to providing a complete school experience that benefits the whole child. When educators focus on shaping student minds through focusing on the ways in which children think and approach problems, they will see progress regarding lesson engagement and test performance. While the purpose of education includes equipping students with information, it is most important to show children how to use their minds by applying material learned in class when faced with situations in the real world.

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Dorothy Crouch is a California-based writer who has covered many topics such as financial technology, travel and the pet-goods industry. Born and raised in New York City, she pursued her undergraduate degree at Hunter College and an M.S., Publishing degree through Pace University. Combining her love of learning and curiosity of the world, Dorothy studied abroad at Dublin, Ireland’s Trinity College, igniting a passion for travel. Dorothy’s thirst for knowledge and love of learning has led her to travel the world and pursue higher learning, including scuba certification. A lifelong animal lover, Dorothy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their fish and two lovable, spoiled dogs.

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