What Is The Purpose Of Education? Shaping The Education System To Meet The Challenges Of Modern Life

Of course, we know it isn’t possible to discover one satisfactory, definitive answer to the question, ‘what is the purpose of education? ‘ but it’s important that Government has the issue of goals in mind when considering policy. Too often policymakers of all political stripes embark on major educational reforms without appearing to engage, or at least acknowledge, the fundamental question of what the purpose of education should be. As Michael Barber notes in his recent TES essay, the impact of Callaghan’s speech stemmed largely from its desire to move away from an education policy which looked only at inputs (for example, teacher numbers) to a policy which shifted to outcomes, asking questions about what knowledge and skills were needed and how might they be acquired.

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