The role of education in charting a child’s future
Education has a value which goes well beyond the practices incorporated into a classroom setting. Education, by necessity, has to be a preparation for life beyond itself. Children won’t stay children forever, and those children need to be taught from a young age what it takes to succeed in the world outside. There seems to be a consensus around this idea, but the controversy erupts in the application.
Not every kid needs to grow up to be a doctor, lawyer or other professional in society. We equally need entrepreneurs, tradespersons, people who can fill service jobs, technicians and general labourers to make society work. However, the commonality is the students must go out into the workforce, find a place commensurate with the skills, abilities and education and settle in to financially support themselves and their families.
The role of education should be geared toward finding a successful path to meet this fundamental objective for the individuals who pass through the system. Why do we need all kids to think like an historian or a scientist when not all paths are leading in that direction? If someone’s intelligence and inclination is geared toward being successful in a trade post-school, why not create a learning regime which suits that inclination instead of having these individuals pushed in an academic direction which does not suit them?
There is something to be said for a so-called “wellrounded” education where students are exposed to different aspects to show them their options, but at some point in our education system we need to flip the switch and encourage the student to specialize and chart a course for their own greatest success after graduation.
School should not be the place where kids come to learn how to be good, moral citizens and upstanding individuals in society. After all that is what churches and families are for. Although some element of that moral education leaks in naturally when we teach about tolerance and acceptance, it should not be the absolute focus of an educational institution. Rather, school should be a place where kids should go to learn the social norms and expectations in order to be successful social navigators.
Subsequent to that, education needs to teach these kids the fundamental skills they will need to be successful in their career paths, wherever they may lie.
“If someone’s intelligence and inclination is geared toward being successful in a trade post-school, why not create a learning regime which suits that inclination instead of having these individuals pushed in an academic direction which does not suit them?”