The Purpose Of Education

Submitted By nisha123nn
Words: 2823
Pages: 12

My main philosophical question, will be if the purpose of education is to teach children solely for work? The word purpose can be defined as a reason why something exists or is created. In this case education exists to prepare individuals for the world of employment. However I do believe this definition is indistinct because the word purpose can be related to many things. It can also be related to the aims or goals that someone wants to achieve. I believe the word purpose can have a broader meaning, and not just be defined as why something exists. Similarly the word education can be defined as “the process of teaching and learning, in a school or a college or the knowledge you get from this.” (Standish, 2006). Once again it can also mean many things. For example the word education can be used when travelling abroad, and talking about your travelling experiences.
I will start this essay off with explaining what are philosophical questions. Philosophical questions are questions that do not have any settled answers, just like the one I will be using in this essay. Moreover these types of questions require you to think deeper, and allow you to look at the assumptions behind your thinking. According to Standish the main purpose of philosophy is “concerned with bringing clarity to thoughts so concepts are carefully analysed.” (Standish, 2006). The word philosophy can be defined as “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.” The word “clarity” is very important when studying philosophy as it actually means the quality of being certain, and definite which is essential for philosophers when they are discussing their theories. (Oxford Dictionary)
Firstly I will be discussing education in relation to work and will give my opinions on some of the arguments put forward by philosophers. Many Philosophers such as Norman (1983) and White (1997) believe that the main purpose of education is to prepare people for the real world. Education teaches children all the skills and also knowledge, to gain a better understanding in how the world of employment works. To some extent this is true because, one of the main reasons why children go to school is to get a good job in order to earn a living. A good job will enable the individual to purchase what they want in order to be happy. Work is a very important component of a good life. According to Richard Norman, “work forms the common core of people’s lives which sets the pattern for their general character.” (Norman, 1983).In some cases work can define you as person. The word “define” actually means to make up or establish the character or essence of an individual. For example for some people work can define their identity and shape their character.
I also believe that education does prepare you mainly for the world of employment. This is because at the end you will gain all the qualifications that you need, in order to pursue a job in the future. I also agree with Norman’s (1983) statement about work being an important part of a good life. A good job will ensure you will have a happy life ahead, which will gradually shape who you are as a person, and will become a part of you.
Furthermore subjects like Maths and English teaches individuals basic skills that they might need in the future. Both of these subjects are crucial in order to get a well paid job. The education system allows the gifted to rise to the top, and others to find their place in the world. Those who are well educated are leaders in society, whereas those involved in occupational training will be less fortunate in terms of what job they have. “In Plato’s Republic, he states that the education system will be carefully selected and the whole system be rigorously supervised by the Rulers.”(Annas, 2003).The word “rigorously” can be defined as being thorough and careful. (Oxford dictionary)
Plato’s republic can be seen as a functionalist educational system because individuals are educated for a