What should the objectives of education be in today's world?

  • The 'strawman' objectives put forward for discussion below were just one part of a Pie and Pint discussion group on the topic of education. The full output is available in the Proposal/Document section at http://www.probably42.net/documents/2/21/education-pie-and-pint-meeting-output

    What do you think of the objectives below, would you remove or amend any of these, are there other objectives? 

    What proportion of time should be given to life skills versus academic skills?



    Objectives of Education

    These are suggested objectives to be achieved by the end of secondary education.

    Preparing and enabling people to (1) have an enjoyable and fulfilling life and make the most of their personal capabilities and (2) to contribute to society and improving it for the benefit of all

    1. Providing them with the basic knowledge and skills to deal with life as it is likely to be in their future.

    2. Providing a grounding across subjects i.e. STEM subjects, arts, humanities, DIY, finance, economics, to a level sufficient for anyone's future life and to be able to decide if they have a particular interest or aptitude for certain subjects which they may like to specialise in. Using these subjects to also develop the skills mentioned below. Teaching them critical thinking, objective discussion, decision-making and problem-solving skills so that they can assess information and situations in a balanced way (including recognising spin and scams). Being able to separate out emotional, logical and pragmatic assessments.

    3. Training them to be empathetic to other people, understand and respect other's points of view, and give them the social skills to interact with others.
    4. Preparing them for the challenges they may face in life and how to avoid the common pitfalls. Teaching them skills of personal organisation and planning, both general and financial.

    5. Preparing them for a world of constant change, recognising how change affects people, how to deal with change and see the opportunities in change.

    6. Teaching them about ideas, innovation and being entrepreneurial. Teaching them where the big advances are coming from e.g. technology and science.

    7. Enthusing them with the opportunities in life.

    8. Preparing them for the world of work (whatever that might look like in the future), encouraging a work ethic, and providing them with the understanding and attributes they need to be attractive to an employer and/or to run their own business. Giving them an understanding of the roles of knowledge, skills and experience.

    9. Providing the information and assistance to understand the breadth of career opportunities and to choose an appropriate career path for themselves

    10. Providing an understanding of our society, the way government operates, how democracy works and an understanding of the importance of participating in that democracy.

    11. Giving them an understanding of our rights and responsibilities in society.

    12. Giving them an understanding of ethics and morality, integrity, our UK culture, other cultures, religions and diversity.

    13. Explaining to them the objectives, reason for and value of each element of their education, so this is readily apparent in everything being taught i.e. relating this to future life.

    14. Personalising their education to reflect abilities, disabilities, priorities and interests. To focus on and adapt education styles to overcome areas where a student is behind or struggling. To ensure brighter students are able to progress according to ability and not outpace the system's ability to keep them interested.

    15. Delivering their education in a way that is interesting and enjoyable. 


    Although these are objectives for combined primary and secondary education, parents play a crucial role in most of these too.


    What do you think of these, would you remove or amend any of these, are there other objectives? 
    What proportion of time should be given to life skills versus academic skills?