Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Saturday, January 31, 2009

What is school for?

The author and change-guru (for lack of a better term) Seth Godin today blogged his thoughts on "what school is for." He said, "...given how much time and money we spend on it [school], it has a wide range of answers, many unexplored, some contradictory. I have a thoughts about education, how we use it to market ourselves and compete, and I realized that without a common place to start, it's hard to figure out what to do." Below is his "starter list." Any thoughts? (Before you react to his use of the term "marketing," remember that's what he does, marketing consultant, and on some level that's what we all do.)

The purpose of school is to:

1. Become an informed citizen
2. Be able to read for pleasure
3. Be trained in the rudimentary skills necessary for employment
4. Do well on standardized tests
5. Homogenize society, at least a bit
6. Pasteurize out the dangerous ideas
7. Give kids something to do while parents work
8. Teach future citizens how to conform
9. Teach future consumers how to desire
10. Build a social fabric
11. Create leaders who help us compete on a world stage
12. Generate future scientists who will advance medicine and technology
13. Learn for the sake of learning
14. Help people become interesting and productive
15. Defang the proletariat
16. Establish a floor below which a typical person is unlikely to fall
17. Find and celebrate prodigies, geniuses and the gifted
18. Make sure kids learn to exercise, eat right and avoid common health problems
19. Teach future citizens to obey authority
20. Teach future employees to do the same
21. Increase appreciation for art and culture
22. Teach creativity and problem solving
23. Minimize public spelling mistakes
24. Increase emotional intelligence
25. Decrease crime by teaching civics and ethics
26. Increase understanding of a life well lived
27. Make sure the sports teams have enough players

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seth Grodin is usually about two lengths ahead of the curve on most subjects, but he is pretty much out to lunch on this one. I'm not sure if he's channelling Alvin Toffler or just reliving a torturous ElHi experience, but his observations are neither original nor particularly insightful. Let's hope none of his thoughts are taken very seriously by anyone except his shrink.