What is school for?

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Why do we go to school?

Watch this video by Seth Godin to set the mood for the rest of the post.

Seth’s Ted Talk

I have wanted to write about this for a little while. Honestly, I’m stuggling with how to best approach this topic. I grew up on the “in-between” time. The time between where going to college was still an option.

My high school had two paths.

  1. Going on to college
  2. Not going to college – typically this group went to a trade school

If you were going to college, you took algebra and advanced math. If you weren’t going to college, you took business math. Looking back, business  math might have been more benefical for me.

After graduating, I was supposed to be able to decide the rest of my working life before  I’d really taken any college classes. At this point, I was still trying to figure out which Friend I thought was the most attractive. (It’s Rachel)

I didn’t understand how I was supposed to pick the rest of my life based off a course catalog that included cryptic descriptions of classes and requirements.

What is school for? If you’re not asking that, you’re wasting time and money – Seth Godin, Stop Stealing Dreams

What do you think school is for?

  6 comments for “What is school for?

  1. Ashley
    May 4, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    As an adult who teaches HS English, I feel like primary and secondary school is really about teaching students how to seek out information. Basic courses in college further teach students how to teach themselves by forcing them to find their own information and resources to fulfill project and paper requirements.

    The last two years of college should be trade or major specific, IMO, as most are.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to always go to school knowing the exact end goal in four years. In my case, it was best just to jump in and swim and around. I didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher until after I got my BA.

    • May 4, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      That’s good perspective, Ashley. I always had apprehensions of picking the wrong thing. Now I know that’s more about being a multipod than anything. More of my focus in this post was on Seth’s talk. What is the purpose of school. Obviously, it’s to learn but it seems (to me at least) it’s more about checking the boxes and not knowledge. I understand that’s more about the system than anything.
      I do appreciate what you do as an educator. I’m on a school board for a small private school and see the struggles routinely.

  2. Ashley
    May 4, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    *Jump in and swim around. My bad for the typo 😉

  3. May 4, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Love this, and am a big fan of Seth. Thanks for sharing! I suppose school is for: a giant “try before you buy” adventure

    • May 4, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks, Mike. This was one of those talks that made me question just about everything regarding education.

  4. May 5, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    School should be for equipping students with skills that will help them to be successful in life. Whether they do or not, well…

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