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The Purpose of School

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  • June 2013
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In my opinion, the purpose of school is to educate, not teach, students in certain areas of knowledge chosen by those of the Board of Education in order to create ‘functioning’ members of ‘normal’ society. The difference between to educate and to teach is how the knowledge is presented. To educate is ‘to bring up (a child, physically or mentally), rear, nourish, support, or produce (plants or animals’ basically to use verbal methods such as lectures in a class setting, or praise for young child to create a specific skill set embedded in a person, be it information or behavior patterns. To teach is ‘to show, declare, demonstrate; teach, instruct, train; assign, prescribe, direct’ basically to use physical means to create an understanding of how something is performed. A common example of the two would be university and college. University is known for its textbooks and very written/audible learning styles whereas college is known as being more hands on. An even more common example would be a child’s journey to come to understand to stay away from a hot stove. A parent could verbally warn them of the dangers, but only once the child has learned through physical interaction does the warning remain in his mind. With these definitions, the title ‘teacher’ is misleading because those at the front of the room are not using methods to involve the students in learning, they are simply showing a PowerPoint and having the students write it in their note book; ‘Educator’ would be a more appropriate term to define those who are hired to only relay thoughtless knowledge because unless there is a physical aspect, it is harder to learn. One example would be sports. Watching Gretzky play hockey day in and day out does not mean that you will be able to skate like him if you have never skated before. Only by training your muscles and learning by acting will anyone begin to skate like a professional. Another example would be learning to play an instrument or learning to speak a...

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