View Poll Results: What should be the primary purpose of our education system?

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  • To teach students a core curriculum (e.g. basic math, reading, science, history)

    28 63.64%
  • To teach students useful life skills (e.g. health, sex education, work ethic, personal finance)

    4 9.09%
  • To enable students to find jobs after they’re done with their education

    2 4.55%
  • To produce students that can outscore other nations on exams

    1 2.27%
  • To instill moral and/or religious values in students

    0 0%
  • To instill patriotism and/or good citizenship in students

    1 2.27%
  • To help students lead happy lives

    1 2.27%
  • To keep minors busy so they don’t get into trouble

    0 0%
  • To identify the students most likely to become future leaders

    0 0%
  • Other (please specify)

    7 15.91%
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Thread: What should be the primary purpose of our education system?

  1. #31
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    Re: What should be the primary purpose of our education system?

    I still advocate uniforms but I respect your position and agree with the points you've made. You definitely made a great argument.
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  2. #32
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    Re: What should be the primary purpose of our education system?

    I picked:

    To instill patriotism and build good citizenship.

    Without patriotism, a love of country, ergo a love of capitalism, freedom, the free market and the willingness to give one's life to maintain it, all the other options listed from the choices, cannot be legitamately fulfilled.
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  3. #33
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    Re: What should be the primary purpose of our education system?

    Quote Originally Posted by GayLibertarian View Post
    I picked:

    To instill patriotism and build good citizenship.

    Without patriotism, a love of country, ergo a love of capitalism, freedom, the free market and the willingness to give one's life to maintain it, all the other options listed from the choices, cannot be legitamately fulfilled.
    While I agree, my position is that this is the parent's job. Which isn't to say that schools aren't supposed to reinforce the basic notion of love of a country that earns it, but it's should not be the PRIMARY reason for sending a kid to school.

    Good night, all.

  4. #34
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    Re: What should be the primary purpose of our education system?

    1,2,3,8. Needed to be able to pick more than one.
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  5. #35
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    Re: What should be the primary purpose of our education system?

    Quote Originally Posted by GayLibertarian
    Without patriotism, a love of country, ergo a love of capitalism, freedom, the free market and the willingness to give one's life to maintain it, all the other options listed from the choices, cannot be legitamately fulfilled.
    Your "instilling patriotism" sounds an awful lot like "political indoctrination." I'm sure you'd be right pissed if if some Berkeley liberal taught your kids, "The love of equality, personal rights (including abortion), moderation, collectivism, and tolerance."

    In the words of Joe Friday, "Just the facts mam." Politics doesn't belong in schools.
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  6. #36
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    Re: What should be the primary purpose of our education system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    What do you think should be the primary purpose of our education system? As I see it, part of the problem we have with our schools is that no one is really able to articulate the goal we are trying to achieve, so we can't measure how successful our schools are. I'm curious as to how much our opinions on this subject diverge from one another.

    (This poll isn't a trick question or anything with a hidden political agenda.)
    I'm sorry but the poll is flawed. The answer is a combination of a lot of those things. There is more to education than just pure knowledge or just life skills. When students graduate from high school they should read and write at a 12th grade level. They should understand what citizenship is, the constitution and how to pursue dreams. They should be well grounded in basic economic principles, what investing is and how to handle basic finances. They should be well versed in American history.
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  7. #37
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    Re: What should be the primary purpose of our education system?

    I wonder if its possible to teach the constitution without indoctrinating kids into either a conservative, liberal, or other ideology. If not, than we should stick to rote memorization of the text of it and leave interpretation out. A person's opinion should be their own.

  8. #38
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    Re: What should be the primary purpose of our education system?

    I think it depends a bit on the level of education

    Elementry? Core curriculum and instill to a poitn patriotism/morals/good citizenship in students.

    Middle? Core curriculum (A bit more in depth), early stages of teaching critical thinking, early stages of teaching life skills, starting ot identify students most likely to be highly successful in the future.

    High? Teaching HOW to think critically, teaching life skills, prepping for life after public education (be it job OR college), identifying and pushing those likely to be highly successful in the future.

    I think in general elementary is getting a foundation for the kids. Learn the countries basic history and even more basic history with regards to the world. Get a basic grasp for math, English, etc…the various core stuff that while we may not remember the specific rules helps to get our mind to a point where the general information with regards to the USE of it remains to a point. I do think at this point it’s in societies interest to re-enforce some generalized, basic, moral type things. Stealing bad, cheating bad, lying bad, be nice to others, don’t talk to strangers, don’t do drugs, etc. I say re-enforce because I think generally these are things parents are already instilling in kids but there’s ways that they can be easily reinforced in school. This also helps society to give some kind of guidance to kids coming from homes where the parents don’t care much to teach their kids. I think a bit of Patriotism isn’t bad to be instilling in children a well when they’re at a young idealistic stage.

    Middle is aptly named middle point between elementary and high. Still teaching the core curriculum, though at this point it should be a bit more advanced or a bit more in depth. In doing so as well they should start attempting to help steer them towards critical thinking at this point. Life skills should slowly be getting integrated into the educational process, generally ones more pertinent to them at a young age. Additionally this is when we really should be looking out for potentially gifted or talented students and steering them towards a direction that maximizes that talent as they go forward.

    High School is where the focus should switch from broad curriculum based training to more preparation. Life skills that are useful as an adult should be taught and students should identify as they go forward if college or a career is likely after high school and begin training towards whichever of those is the answer. Critical thinking should be a focus, not simply as a structured thing but instead rather HOW one thinks critically. High School needs to be more about the HOW than the WHY. HOW to think critically, HOW to apply oneself to get a job done, HOW to show dedication, HOW to take initiative, etc. The earlier portions of schooling should be somewhat formulaic, but at this point students should be put in situations to take that formula and figure out how to apply it themselves. Going about it that way gives them the best chance to then actually use those skills in the real world for advantageous purposes, focusing on actual understanding and thinking rather than memorization and recitation.

  9. #39
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    Re: What should be the primary purpose of our education system?

    This poll should have allowed multiple choice selections. The answer is a combination of goals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    To teach students critical thinking skills
    Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
    Nailed it. That and fundamentals like reading, writing, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Layla_Z View Post
    I also think that a good education teaches a person how to learn. We should be learning our entire lives.
    I think the primary goal of education through the high school level is to mold good citizens. The attributes of a good citizen are:
    1. fundamentals - reading, writing, math
    2. critical thinking - learn on their own
    3. liberal arts - history, philosophy, science, political science, economics
    4. life skills - personal finance, health, sex ed, home ec
    5. good citizenship - capitalism, liberal Republicanism, elections, checks and balances, the Constitution
    6. pepare for work - vocational skills
    7. athletics - health and social cooperation nd competition


    All of these encompass the primary goal of developing capable good citizens.
    Last edited by reefedjib; 08-16-10 at 09:39 AM.

  10. #40
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    Re: What should be the primary purpose of our education system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    Ultimately I wish we didn't have to care about nationhood, but since every other nation seems to care about nationhood (or should I say tribalism), it's important for a country to have a uniform education system where everyone is, for the most part, on the same page. That means we are taught, more or less, the same facts in school. I do believe this is indoctrination and nationalism to some degree, but not entirely. If nations are to remain competitive and secure, the people have to know the facts of the world.

    In a contradictory way, I also wish that the education system were more catered to the individual, instead of a white-wash approach to teaching as if all children are the same. The era we live in is increasingly unwilling to tolerate the nail the sticks out, and they hammer it down by giving children medications for failing to conform in the classroom. Education needs to evolve to be more dynamic and to recognize the needs of each individual student. A lot of students think in a non-linear, abstract way, but the system is not designed for that, so these people get hit hardest. A lot of children who are on drugs to keep them in line are these kinds of "vata" thinkers (if you are familiar with ayurveda). Unfortunately, aside from private school, I think the system is mostly designed to create a work-ready middle class that doesn't necessarily have life skills, but is good at obedience and following instructions.

    The strength of nations lies in health and education. With those, most problems are solvable.
    That's pretty much what the system was designed to do.

    A lot of other people have brought up great points, like making it a more individualized system but you can't do that without it costing insane amounts of money.

    Toss it, people will still get educated.
    The difference is that it will be done cheaper and it will be better suited to their individual needs.
    Last edited by Harry Guerrilla; 08-16-10 at 10:58 AM. Reason: grammer
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