Meaning And Purpose Of Education Pdf

meaning and purpose of education pdf

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Are Public Schools Really Failing?

Skip to main content. Lead Author s : Dr. Source: Edmodo. Student Price: Contact us to learn more. In this homework assignment, students will be asked to learn the characteristics of good research.

The Many Purposes of Education

Are Public Schools Really Failing? And If So, Why? This article explains the true source of the so-called failure of schools, teachers, and students. School Choice: Asking the Wrong Questions! What obvious question is neither asked nor answered in the debate about school choice?

Note: This article was originally written for teachers. However, the ideas are important to anyone interested in why public education is in its present conflict and what might need to happen to insure the future of free and appropriate public education. He commented that people shouldn't put too much weight on the recently released trends in SRA scores of the state's high school students.

The professor went on to describe some of the unanswered questions about the nature and value of assessment. He mentioned that one of the problems with assessment was the ongoing disagreement on the very purpose of education. A few days later, the paper printed a scathing response from a community member who questioned whether the University really wanted someone on their staff who didn't even know the purpose of education.

Clearly, this person assumed that his definition of education was shared by all. Is that true? What is the purpose of education? Is it contained in the dictionary definition of the word "education"—or is it something more? Webster defines education as "the process of educating or teaching. Not particularly useful, is it? The word educate is further defined as "to develop the knowledge, skill, or character of…" Thus, from these definitions, we might assume that education means to develop the knowledge, skill, or character of students.

But this definition requires that we further define words such as develop , knowledge , and character. What is knowledge? Objectivists see knowledge as a body of information that exists "out there"—the results or products of human thought processes that have taken on a life of their own.

In this view, Knowledge…with a capitol K…is the sum total of facts, truths, laws, principles, and ideas that man has produced. Human history is also considered Knowledge, although the accepted version varies from culture to culture, or from winner to loser!

Codified in language, this Knowledge has been accumulated in books and other storage devices over the ages. If we look at the proliferating standards and benchmarks that were developed by many states after the introduction of No Child Left Behind—or at E. Hirsch's list of information one needs to be "culturally literate" 1 , we realize how robust this definition of Knowledge is. Using this definition, "developing the Knowledge of the student" is conceptualized as "giving" learners vast quantities of these facts, truths, laws, principles, ideas, and history.

This type of Knowledge— removed form the process that created it —is grist for the test mill because its "factual" nature lends itself to multiple choice questions with one right answer!

This definition still prevails despite an impressive body of research demonstrating that knowledge is not "out there," but is constructed in the mind of each individual as that person interacts with the world. This is hardly a new argument. In ancient Greece, Socrates argued that education was about drawing out what was already within the student.

This is rarely the case. Here are a couple of examples. These quotations demonstrate the diversity of beliefs about the meaning and purpose of education. How would you complete the statement, "The purpose of education is…"?

If you ask five other people, including parents and teachers, to complete that sentence without hearing other people's answers, it is likely that you'll have five different statements. Some will place the focus on knowledge, some on learning, some on the teacher, some on the jobs, and others on the growth and development of each student. So what, you may ask? Why is it so important how we define the word? It is important because the definition arises from the person's beliefs.

People's beliefs about the purpose of education are the foundation of their perceptions and behaviors! Today's public schools operate under the belief that the purpose of education is to "give" students an externally-defined body of knowledge and skills adults deem necessary for the student to "succeed.

The unhappy truth is that there is no purpose of education that is agreed upon by all, or even most, educators. The meanings they attach to the word are complex beliefs arising from their own values and experiences.

To the extent that those beliefs differ, how likely is it that we can "standardize" what and how students learn? Worse, many educators or educational policy makers have never been asked to state their beliefs—or even to reflect on what they believe. At the very least, shouldn't people who play such as huge role in the mental, emotional, and social development of our children owe it to our young people to bring their beliefs into consciousness and examine them for validity.

A purpose is the fundamental goal of the process—an end to be achieved. Functions are other outcomes that may occur as a natural result of the process—by-products or consequences of schooling. For example, many educators believe that the transmission of knowledge is the primary purpose of education, while the transfer of knowledge from school to the real world is something that happens largely without effort as a consequence of possessing that knowledge—a function of education.

Because a purpose is an expressed goal, more effort is put into achieving it. It becomes a part of the explicit and official curriculum. On the other hand, because functions are assumed to occur without directed effort, they are often ignored during instruction, particularly when time is an issue.

For this reason, it is critical to determine which outcomes you consider a fundamental purpose of education and which can be left to chance. Which of the following would you include as a purpose of education? The list could, of course, be longer. This is but a first step in recognizing what you believe education "should" be accomplishing.

But as Tom Peters reminds us, "What gets measured, gets done. How often, in today's public schools, are students given the opportunity to clarify their personal values? How often are students encouraged to actually use the knowledge they've been forced to acquire to solve real problems? To what extent is the typical student recognized and given respect?

How often are students given the opportunity to recognize and evaluate different points of view when multiple choice tests require a single 'correct' answer? What is a "good citizen" and how does one develop the ability to be one? And perhaps the most telling question of all—how often are students given the opportunity to choose what, when, and how they will learn?

How can a child develop self-esteem and a sense of self-efficacy when they are rarely if ever given the opportunity and responsibility to manage and reflect on their choices? Those who hold a more humanistic view of the purpose of education often experience stress because the purpose they assign to education differs greatly from the purpose assigned by their institution or policy makers.

It's clear in listening to the rhetoric of education that its current primary focus is on the students' acquisition of externally-determined and largely context-free "facts," as well as the ability of the teacher to facilitate that acquisition— even though many have questioned whether this constitutes meaningful learning!

In short, students are expected to conform to schools rather than schools serving the needs of students. Many assume that we must prioritize the items on the list because, after all, there's only so much time.

But must we really choose? What if we looked at the "acquisition of information" in a different way? Today, reading, writing, and math are set apart as things that everyone must "know and be able to do" BEFORE they can actually solve a problem. What if the process of "acquiring" informaton were embedded in real world issues that students could explore in depth?

In other words, children learn by doing, rather than by memorizing. They learn what they need when they need it. Taking time to identify and agree upon a fundamental purpose or purposes of education is rare. Yet how can one judge the "success" of "failure" of a school if there is no clear statement of what that school is supposed to accomplish? One sees nebulous statements in school mission statements, but they are often of the "Mom, baseball, and apple pie" variety—glittering generalities that offer little substance on which to build a school culture.

Creating meaningful and lasting change in education cannot occur unless and until the historical purpose of public education is re-evaluated in the light of current research on learning and changing priorities.

It is time for the focus of education to shift from what's "out there"—the curriculum, standards, assessments, classroom arrangement, books, technology—to the fundamental assumptions about education held by educators and policymakers.

NASA did not send men to the moon by building on the chassis of a model T. Similarly, education cannot hope to move beyond its present state on the chassis of 19th century education. Do you like what you find here? Are you intrigued? Please take the opportunity to share this page on your favorite social media site. It helps raise awareness and starts or adds to dialogue. Take a moment to share this page. Learning in Mind. For usage, click here for copyright information. Programming help provided by U.

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What Is Education Meaning and Purpose

Education is indispensable to individual and society, for without it there would be loss of all the accumulated knowledge of the ages and all the standard of conduct. An individual must learn the culture of the society or the accepted ways of doing things. He must be socialized into the prevailing culture and must learn the rules of conduct and expectations about future behaviour. Society therefore, consciously devices its instructional programmes to fulfill personal and social needs rather than leaving the learning to change. Education provides a conscious teaching programme that helps to inculcate values, norms and social skills that will enable the individual to develop his personality and sustain the social system. The term education has different meanings.

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Education is the process of facilitating learning , or the acquisition of knowledge , skills , values , morals, beliefs , and habits. Educational methods include teaching , training , storytelling , discussion and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, however learners can also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy. Formal education is commonly divided formally into such stages as preschool or kindergarten , primary school , secondary school and then college , university , or apprenticeship. A right to education has been recognized by some governments and the United Nations.


Education is a systematic process through which a child or an adult acquires knowledge, experience, skill and sound attitude. It makes an individual civilized, refined, cultured and educated. For a civilized and socialized society, education is the only means. Its goal is to make an individual perfect. Every society gives importance to education because it is a panacea for all evils.

Many issues occur when differing opinions about the purpose of education collide. It is important to recognize that other people, including many of your coworkers, administrators, and your students' parents might have a different point of view concerning what education should be all about. It's the idea that schools need to provide students with the knowledge they need to be functional adults in their day-to-day lives. They need to know how to read, write , and do arithmetic. The purpose of education to some teachers is to impart knowledge about the subject matter they are teaching without much thought to other classes.

Education Details: a meaning that is often of little practical value—the meaning we assign to a word is a belief, not an absolute fact. Here are a couple of examples. The truly human society is a learning society, definition of education pdf. We can also define education as "a process of acquiring knowledge through study or imparting the knowledge by way of instructions or some other practical procedure".

The Meaning and Purpose of Education

Educational System: The Meaning, Aspects and Social Functions of Education

Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. Tagore Published When a person achieves degree up to certain level we do not call it education. As for example if a person has secured Masters degree then we utilize education it a very narrower sense and call that the person has achieved education up to Masters Level. In the second sense, education is utilized in a sense of discipline. Save to Library.

Education is a process in which and by which t he knowledge, characters and behavior of the human being are shaped and molded. Education is lead to the enlightenment of mankind. Imam Ghazali said that education is a process which enable an individual to distinguish between the true and false, the good and bad, the right conduct and the evil doing.

The Meaning Of Education Pdf

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