The Purpose of Education – a two-sided perspective #purposedu

I have now been a mother for close to three years – my son is a bundle of joy and energy and he also drives me crazy at times :).

On the other hand, I have been an educator for more than 14 years now, with the last three working with pre-service teachers at the Faculty of Education, University of Malta.

Up until 3 years ago, my views on Education were pretty much simple. I used to say, kids deserve good Education – and then I used to stop there. I do think that I used to do my bit – I always believed in an educational design that places the learner at the focus of teaching.

However now I say, kids DESERVE good EDUCATION – and I don’t stop there! Suddenly there is much more passion in my phrase, my voice has gotten louder and I panic at the thought of what I can do – what I must do – to give my son the type of Education that can make him a better person.

Because ultimately, that is what I believe the Purpose of Education is to make people better persons. Now this is easier said than done. Up until a few years ago, a better person meant a person with bits of paper called certificates. A person with certificates was better because he earned respect from others.

In today’s world, a million certificates won’t make a difference. What makes a difference in today’s world is if you manage to create something that can somehow, in one way or another, help others. I am not really talking about the global good of the world – that is fine – but what is really needed in today’s world are people who can solve problems before they even crop up. We need people who think…people who use their brains… people who are creative… people who challenge the status quo around them…people who challenge the way Education is being done – better people!

I don’t want my son to grow up in the same Educational system that I went through. I really dislike people saying “It worked for me you know…why shouldn’t it work for the youngsters!” – DUH – could it be that it won’t work because the world has changed?? could it be that in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, especially in Malta, the best job a woman (especially) could aspire to was that of either working at a bank as a clerk, or as a teacher (with all due respect) as the working hours coincided perfectly with family responsibilities? Could it be that NOW this is different, and that people need to be empowered to believe, that they can do anything which they are really set on?

Now, as a mother, I want my son to get an Education that makes him believe in himself and makes him appreciate what he can do for the others.

As an educator, now, I want an Education worth fighting for, worth believing in – because collectively we need to help others become better people.

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5 thoughts on “The Purpose of Education – a two-sided perspective #purposedu

  1. A really passionate and valuable contribution, Vanessa – thank you! I love the distinction you make between people who have many ‘pieces of paper’ vs. people who can get on and *do* stuff. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the passionate contribution to the #purposedu #500words campaign, Vanessa! I especially like your distinction between those who merely have ‘pieces of paper’ versus those who can actually get on and *do* stuff. 🙂

    • Thanks Doug… yes I feel very strongly that we have become a society of “papers”…I guess that if we try to create anything out of paper, we will create nothing that cannot be blown away with a mild gust of wind. Therefore we need people who go out there and *do* stuff as you say 🙂

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