The purpose of education?
By Samantha Ahern, on 25 January 2018
“Were all instructors to realize that the quality of mental process, not the production of correct answers, is the measure of educative growth something hardly less than a revolution in teaching would be worked.”
― John Dewey,
Over the last few weeks I have attended a number of events, but they have all the same common thread.
They have left me asking two questions; firstly, what is the purpose of education and secondly, what do we mean by learning?
This has reminded me of comments made by Peter Goodyear in his keynote at the 2017 ALT Conference regarding learning spaces, ‘attributes and qualities of spaces do not determine the learning and outcomes and objectives’ and ‘it’s what students actually do that effects what they learn .. can not be designed’.
In the #IOEDebates event What if… we really wanted evidence-informed practice in the classroom? Gert Biesta (Professor of Education and Director of Research, Brunel University London) noted that ‘Teaching is: Open, semiotic and recursive’ and this makes teaching a messy business. We can remove the messiness but would this reduce teachers to technocrats and create an education environment of uniform conformity, evidence must not become another thing to tell you what to do.
Professor Biesta went on to ask ‘What do we want education to work for:’