“I never let schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain
Why do we have schooling in America? The function of schools can be divided into four major themes:
Intellectual: Schools provide intellectual growth.
Political & Civic: Land of the Free, Home of the Brave — this doesn’t transcend from one generation to the next automatically.
Economic: Do you want to grow the GDP?
Social: Probably one of the most undervalued, yet critically important to life-long success — can you work on a team or be a leader? These skills are honed in the K12 classroom.
As you think about the four basic purposes of school: academic (intellectual), political and civic purposes, socialization, and economic purposes, what do you think? Which one (or more) do you find as primary purposes of schooling in your own personal philosophy?
What is a school? What is a school for?
Often, I have students who use the terms “schooling” and “education” interchangeably, but as you can discern from this reading, they have different meanings. What is the difference?
Often educators enter the teaching field because they have a wish to educate others, but then their philosophies are transformed as they begin to pay particular attention to the network of personalities and ideas surrounding the particular schools in which they teach. No longer does the desire to teach others hold paramount importance, but instead, they become invested in schooling–quizzes, tests, detention and such. This can cause them to lose their focus on larger issues of education.
In the following video John Gatto makes the case that self knowledge is the cornerstone of future success belief on education vs. schooling. If the video does not show up below you can view it on YouTube by clicking this link.