The Purpose of Education, part 3

Here is what some smart people came up with in 1918:



Secondary education should be determined by the needs of the society to be served, the character of the individuals to be educated, and the knowledge of educational theory and practice available. These factors are by no means static. Society is always in process of development; the character of the secondary-school population undergoes modification; and the sciences on which educational theory and practice depend constantly furnish new information. Secondary education, however, like any other established agency of society, is conservative and tends to resist modification. Failure to make adjustments when the need arises leads to the necessity for extensive reorganization at irregular intervals. The evidence is strong that such a comprehensive reorganization of secondary education is imperative at the present time.


Reformatted, shorter, prettier:

Super short outline:

  1. Health
  2. Command of fundamental processes
  3. Worthy home membership
  4. Vocation
  5. Citizenship
  6. Worthy use of leisure
  7. Ethical character

The History of Education shows a slow progression from a rare privilege enjoyed by the elite few who wished to become movers and shakers to an almost necessary requirement for all citizens to engage in a modern world to finally focusing more on being productive and a part of the machine of society.

Dr. Wiegand mentioned these seven principles in her dissertation/thesis/paper. A paper that focuses on, of all things, change and reform.

It seems to me that we are at that point again. I feel we are in need action, not more talking. And I truly think we are on the verge of seeing such action here in Unit 4.

What are the needs of the Champaign-Urbana society? What is the character of our students today? What does the best educational practice say? (I fear asking that question because we have a mountain full of it)

2 Responses to “The Purpose of Education, part 3”

  1. What are public schools supposed to do? | Citizen4: A citizen's blog about Champaign Unit 4 Says:

    […] I have often asked myself variations on the question “what is the purpose of school?” When asked, my then 9-year-old daughter offered her perspective, “to learn how to learn.” I asked her a year later about the purpose of the teacher, and she said “to make learning fun.” (for more reading, “The purpose of Education” part 1, 2, 3) […]

  2. The Purpose of Education, part 4 | Citizen4: A citizen's blog about Champaign Unit 4 Says:

    […] posts (“What are public schools supposed to do?“, Purpose of Education parts 1, 2, 3), there are many people who try to lay claim to what is important for our students, what they must […]

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