Often in class we’ve bantered around about the benefits and risks of a pedagogy that is more constructivist and progressive. The video below looks at what is happening with technology and education in the emerging world. It’s rather interesting but poses some daunting questions for us to think about the purpose of education.
In the video Leadbeater speaks of the need for the education to “pull” the student to something practical and useful rather than the “push” of a formal curriculum. In many places around the country especially urban settings there is a renewed push for vocational education or the teaching of immediately employable skills?
While the concept is certainly wonderful I wonder though if it is good to consign a certain class of individuals to vocational education because of the zip code they live in? Do all students deserve a truly rigorous college prep education? These questions often lead me to think of a bigger one: What is the purpose of education?
Every educator and every district needs to wrestle with this core question. Why do we do what we do? Is it to create strong citizens for a vibrant democracy? To prepare workers for the world? Or is it something much deeper and more profound. In some ways I have to believe our attitude towards technology and its use are tied to our beliefs about the fundamental reasons our schools exist.