Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What is the Purpose of Education

         What is the purpose of education is something I have recently be struggling to define since reading Bill Strickland's novel. Coming from the inner-city you always here about the necessity of education reform so kids and be more motivated and want to go to school and do their best. Going to school with some of these "troubled kids" who are in the most need for these reforms, my problem was not with the education but with the kids themselves. A lot of them are not even trying and rather be in a gang or cutting class to get high and hang out. Its hard to think "boy those kids would really benefit from an art class, or a class with modern teaching techniques" when you see these involved in so many bad things and the least bit interested in school, but Strickland's book actually changed my mind.
          I used to think that the education we have now is the same one our parents did ,and they were OK so should we, but Strickland through the telling of his experience with clay and the arts teacher who changed his life, made me think that a change of pace is what some of these troubled kids need. In Strickland we have a man who was failing HS, started taking pottery classes, and was so interested and invested in them he started getting teachers to pass him along if he proved he was going to his beloved pottery class. He went onto to get and education at an esteemed university, started a program that is to this day saving lives, learned to fly a plane, and fulfill many if not all of his dreams.
         Many think the purpose of education is not what it used to be when we were in a "Knowledge Age" which Daniel Pink in his book "A Whole New Mind" describes as being motivated by"SAT-ocracy meaning preparing kids just to do well in specific exams testing logic and the ability to get one concrete answer. Now he believes that we are in a age where we need to be teaching kids how to innovative, creative, and efficient in  things not always not in classrooms like "learning computer code". Many we need to get away from beating kids over the head with Trig in HS and start teaching furniture design or pottery making, because that's what Pink believes and Strickland knows from experience is truly enriching kids today and preparing them to lead healthy fulfilling lives.

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