What is school for in 2012?

If we can’t answer this for our students and for ourselves as teachers, then we are shooting aimlessly everyday in our classrooms hoping that we will hit on something that students will need later.

Kinda a big risk, don’t you think?

What if you could know that what you are doing in the classroom will actually make a difference in students’ lives and development?

What is school for in 2012?

It seems a question so obvious that it’s hardly worth asking. And yet there are many possible answers. Here are a few (I’m talking about public or widespread private education here, grade K through college):

To create a society that’s culturally coordinated.

To further science and knowledge and pursue information for its own sake.

To enhance civilization while giving people the tools to make informed decisions.

To train people to become productive workers.

Over the last three generations, the amount of school we’ve delivered to the public has gone way up—more people are spending more hours being schooled than ever before. And the cost of that schooling is going up even faster, with trillions of dollars being spent on delivering school on a massive scale.

Until recently, school did a fabulous job on just one of these four societal goals.

Write your own manifesto. Figure out why you are getting up at the crack of dawn to do this job.