Goals Underlying Education

The educational system is full of goals. Teachers, for example, have teaching goals, goals of a particular lesson, goals they wish to achieve with individual students. Students, too, already have goals. They wish to get into good colleges, get good jobs, get approval from their peers, parents, and teachers, and get good grades as one means of doing this. They have the goal of studying for tests, and taking good notes to study from, and understanding the lesson and so on. Further, state boards of education have goals. They have goals for minimal achievement of graduating students on standardized tests, for example. Administrators want to keep order in the system and high test scores and coverage of the curriculum. Indeed, the school system seems rather full of goals.

But are these relevant goals? One thing to notice is that most of these goals are held by those who run the system (i.e., administrators and teachers), not by those the system is to educate (i.e., students). To make the system effective, we must concentrate on the goals of the students.

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