What's wrong with education for education's sake?Fans of liberal education are on the defensive.
Should a career be the focus of education? Michael Mercieca, CEO of Young Enterprise says 'yes', Kieran McLaughlin, head of Durham School says 'no'
Kieran McLaughlin, head Durham School
"What’s the point of an education? It’s easy in this time of measurement, targets and league tables to lose sight of what the primary purpose of our schooldays should be: to acquire a knowledge of the culture, history and intellectual progress of our civilisation, as well as of those that have gone before.
The epitome of an education should be the Arnoldian “best of what has been thought and said” and the measure of any civilisation, of any culture, is the extent to which learning is held as important.
From the ancient Greeks, through the Arabic, Chinese and others up to the present day, the cultures which have most achieved greatness have been those which have fostered learning for its own sake and a scholarly endeavor.
To continue to make this progress, to develop technologically or to simply think about things in a different way, we need the bedrock of our forebears’ knowledge to build on.
Newton’s famous quotation that he stood on the shoulders of giants applies to more than just science, and new ideas across the disciplines come from a constant reworking of the old.
However there is a much more immediate reason for pursuing learning for its own sake: it’s great fun.
Anyone who has ever taught a child – whether it be how to ride a bike, why the dinosaurs became extinct or how to use Pythagoras’ theorem – will have seen the light in their eyes when they have finally mastered a tricky concept.
Those Eureka moments are what make teachers continue in the profession, as they find joy in witnessing the joy of learning.
Intellectual thirst is hard-wired into us as human beings and it continues in us beyond childhood. A greater knowledge and understanding of the world leads to a greater appreciation of its beauty and rigour, and as a society and as individuals we are the richer for it."
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Liberal education is more fun
In the Telegraph: