Focusing on Why Education Exists

The purpose of education is to make life better, for individuals and for the world.  If education does not serve this purpose, it should not be taking place.

A great deal of education in the contemporary world is, by this standard, either wasteful or harmful.  But because of the benefits of education in the past, “education” has become a sacred cow, where most people have been taught to defend it and worship it reflexively, and to give in to all of those who claim that they are providing “education.”

But if we are to create a better world, we can no longer give advocates of education a free pass.  As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” and insofar as advocates of education want to protect themselves from criticism they are not worthy of the name.  We need to be clean, pure, and ruthless in our attack on the sacred cows of education, so that in the future young people will be able to live in a world in which most educational institutions, most of the time, provide authentic value for individuals and for society.

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About Michael Strong

Co-founder, Ko School + Incubator, Conscious Capitalism, Radical Social Entrepreneurs, lead author of Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World's Problems, author of The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic Practice.
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One Response to Focusing on Why Education Exists

  1. stpeter says:

    Section 196 of Nietzsche’s Daybreak seems apropos:

    The most personal questions of truth. — ‘What am I really doing? And why am I doing it?’ — that is the question of truth which one is not taught in our present system of education and that is consequently not asked; we have no time for it. On the other hand, to talk of buffooneries with children and not of the truth, to talk of compliments to women who are later to become mothers and not of the truth, to talk of their future and their pleasures to young people and not of the truth — we always have time and inclinations for that! — But what, after all, are seventy years! — they run on and are soon over; it matters so little whether the wave knows how and whither it flows! Indeed, it could be a sign of prudence not to know it. — ‘Admitted: but not even to ask after it is not a sign of possessing much pride; our education does not make people proud.’ — So much the better. — ‘Really?’

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