What’s Education For?

What’s Education For?

August 29, 2019 100 By Ronny Jaskolski


Everyone agrees that education is hugely important The thing is we’re not particularly sure what we want from it The aim of education should be to prepare us for the challenges of adult life Yet from this perspective it’s clear that schools fail all but for tiny portions of their students Whether in highly academic private schools Or in deprived government-run ones trouble-dealing with life’s challenges remains very wide spread indeed Human ingenuity, energy, goodwill, and talent is being lost on an industrial scale to get more ambitious about education doesn’t necessarily mean spending more money building more schools, employing more teachers or making exams more difficult Rather, it should mean focusing more on the real purpose of education There are two fundamental tasks it should help us with: working and sustaining good relationships In order to address these needs a future national curriculum might specify that the following subjects be studied Firstly, capitalism A conspiracy of silence exists around the economic system we live within We find it hard to change its bad sides or defend its strengths because we simply don’t fully understand how it works A subject like maths should be geared to teach its number one utility for 99% of the population dealing with money Such classes would demistify the global economy by teaching students the importance of the means of production and how profits are made The role of cashflow, HR leadership, marketing, and competition would also be studied In a perfect school system you’d also then study a really big second subject yourself Young students would be introduced to the idea that we humans are extremely prone to misunderstanding ourselves They would be taken through the concepts of delusion, defensiveness projection and denial in everyday life Individual tutors would be on hand to help students towards personality maps with particular attention paid to their neurosis and fears Doing this would ensure that students learn a lot about how complex they truly are and what types of people they would be best suited to hang out with A crucial unit would be devoted to career self-knowledge What job are you best suited to? Students would spend three hours a week exploring what they might do with their futures Then we would sutdy relationships Being intensely aware of the social and individual cost of every unhappy relationship An ideal education system would emphasize the acquisition of skills that help people to live better together There would be units on kindness and forgiveness as well as on anxiety-reduction techniques In this educational utopia it wouln’t only be children who would go to school but adults as well Schooling would be for life Education wouldn’t just be taking place in classrooms media and the arts would be made to maximize their teaching potential and help to teach people what they actually need to learn We’re so hung up on the challenges of running a massive education system we’re failing to pinpoint the real source of its problems These are primarily about money, salaries or discipline These are only a consequence of a more fundamental problem Right now and with no-one quite meaning for this to happen we’ve simply got the wrong curriculum