what is school for?

Like many others, I am a fan of Seth Godin's work and I thought this was an interesting blog post.  It intrigued me because as a coach, I often seem to be faced with "undoing" the mindset of the mundane set up by many of our learning institutions.  You know – the mindset that rewards you for being "just like" everyone else.  The one that tells you what you can't do, what you can't be or what you shouldn't be (too confident, too out-on-the-edge, too good, etc).  So when I saw this post, it provoked me to think, "Hmmmm, just what IS school for?"  What do you think?

Sethgodinsblog Seems like a simple question, but given how much time and money we spend on it, it has a wide range of answers, many unexplored, some contradictory. I have a few 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.

So, a starter list. 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

via Seth Godin I What is School For?

You were born to be great.

YES, you can!

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