Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What is the purpose of education?

What is the purpose of education?

Sir Ken Robinson asked us this question while we were watching his TED talk. Mr. Fisch has already written about this and David Warlick. I am interested in what you think? So, what is the purpose of education in your opinion. Maybe ask your parents and sibilings to respond to this question as well.

What is your role? What should the teacher's role be?

46 comments:

Joe B said...

I always like to go bck to the original Latin roots of words. In that sense, education is to lead forth. So I hope educators draw out the responsible, thinking, able/eager to understand and contribute potential in each of their students.

Cadre11 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gregory N said...

From a student point of view, education is about pursuing your passion, what interests you, sharpening your talents. It's also about stretching yourself, discovering something new, exploring. Hopefully, an educated person is able to do something, not just know things.

Chris said...

As a student, the purpose of education is about learning the necessary knowledge/skills/tools you need to succeed in your life.

As a teacher, the purpose of education is about teaching students how to learn and succeed when they are not in class.

Brooke Spencer said...

As a student and an educator I am very passionate about education. But, I do believe that education has a very different purpose for everyone. As a educator I believe that the purpose of education is to broaden the horizons of the learner. Show the learner what is available to them in the world, let them dream and give them the skills to achieve their dreams.

As a student, attaining the skills I need to achieve dreams.

I will say that in high school and even in my undergrad I did not see education as a tool to achieve dreams. But, now that I control my educational destiny the more education I get the more goals I achieve. So, I wish I would have taken the reigns a little sooner!

Carl Anderson said...

Education is about learning, growth, and the pursuit of knowledge and understanding. School is about rewards and punishments. School is all about learning the game so you can score higher points and get into better colleges so you can get a better job and ultimately have a higher salary. Too often these words are mistakenly used as synonyms.

jonathanp2012 said...

I think that the purpose of education is to be taught the things that you would actually like to pursue in later life and to be educated the skills that you were meant to do. It is for a person to acquire knowledge that he/she actually wants to be taught, not just because they had to take the class for school. True education is just a tool of helping you not only be successful in life later on, but it also helps you find the things that you are passionate about. School today is about getting high grades on tests and homework. It is about getting into a good college by “playing that game”. Many people say that education is taught at schools. That may be true for some people who have passions in learning math and science and social studies, but for the others, school has nothing or little to do with what their passions are.

carolynf2012 said...

As Joe B said, "education is to lead forth," and I strongly agree with that. I believe that the purpose of education is to move ahead into the future and to prepare for what we will be doing in our lives. Education isn't just about what we "need" to know its about what we want to know, to quench the urge for knowledge if you will. My role as a student is to take what I am learning and think, apply, to use it, to understand it. The teachers role is to make me think and push me.

robertc2012 said...

I agree with Gregory the most. Education should be about discovering yourself. It's about finding what it is that you are the best at and finding what you love to do the most. At least, it should be...

KyleL2012 said...

Education's purpose is to allow students to learn, not to teach the students. I think that because when we are taught, we aren't learning, we are memorizing. Students have to learn to learn and education should allow that opportunity for students. If we let students run school, then they learn what they want to learn and pursue their dreams. Most people who do well in their jobs enjoy what they do, not because they know how to factor equations that have no relevance in their job, but because they love what they do and they do what they love. I think that education should not be the guider to the future, but the door to it.

The student's role is to learn and care about what they learn. If they don't pursue what they want to do and don't care about school, they will not be living happy lives in the future, so it's the student's responsibility to learn and care about what they learn.

The teacher has to be the guider, but they can't be systematic. They have to know what the student wants and needs and guide them from there. The only advantage the teacher has over the student is experience. We both are humans, both have brains, and both have souls, but only the teacher has lived longer than the student. The thing that's wrong with education is that the system relies heavily on what the teacher thinks is right and not what the student thinks. Sir Ken Robinson's theory agrees that schools are destroying student's creativity and what they think is right. We are destroyed early in our lives and recreated into the average person, which is not right.

chelseac2012 said...

Education is a way to help students find out what their strengths and weaknessess are, or at least it should be even though it not always is. After discovering strengths, education should help the student prepare for their future with tools and ideas. The students should be able to search for their passions in their own ways, with some guidance from teachers. It's a learning experiance for the future.

Education quotes:
"Nine tenths of education is encouragement." - Anatole France
"Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands." - Anne Frank
"Correction does much, but encouragement does more." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though awakens your own expectations." - Patricia Neal

johnc2012 said...

I think that Education’s purpose is to make a foundation and base for a person to go further and deeper into whatever they want to do. Like Joe B said, “education means to go forth,” and so like this, we should use education as a starting line towards depth and more understanding in further explorations.

I also think that Education’s purpose is to tell people about what is out there to work at or with. In our systems, I think this aspect has been lost. I mean, the classes that have importance put on them are most times Language Arts or Math. There isn’t a high regard for other pursuits that are more figurative, like Music or Art. This is one of the major faults in our plans. I think it is good at my school how there are requirements that make you take some classes in order to create a balanced student but also to expand a person’s daily ideas and thoughts.

Thanks

John

Megg2012 said...

Let's face it- we, as students and teachers spend and entire year going to school, repeating the same ritual everyday. Education is important for that reason. If we are going to invest our entirety of time to education it MUST be important. So, the purpose of education is to allow students to explore their interests, and passions, and to soak up new information. Unfortunatly, I do not think schools are directed this way. You have to get credits in classes you do not enjoy, and spend time doing homework after school rather than pursuing your passion. (As we have talked about with Mr. Fisch in class.)
My role in education is to be sort of a sponge. To soak up all the knowledge I can possibly get, as well as exploring for myself the amount of knowledge that is not taught in school. To pursue my passions, and learn how to connect these things to my everyday life, and the world I live in.
I think the teachers role should be to share their knowledge with the students about the specialized topic(English, Math,etc.) Also, I think the teachers are there to learn with the students, it is a joint effort. I think that teachers need to see the potential in their students, and the students need to see that potential in themselves. They can both act as encouragers, and support for each other.

AustinW2012 said...

I think education is to prepare you for things you might want to do. It is broad engouh to open many doors but around college gets specific to what you choose to pursue. It is a way of measuring of hard you can work and build foundations for the future. What you do with education is up to you and it can take you great places.

TristanL said...

Hey everyone! I think that this question can be answered in so many ways. Public education was first designed by the government, to teach children about the world around. Science, how the world works. Math, how numbers work. History, what happened to the world before now. And Language Arts, dissecting books after reading them, learning grammar and spelling, and learning to write essays. These are all required courses in public education. Why? Why did the School Boards of Education decide we needed to know all of this? Surely our future jobs won't include every single element of what we learn in school?

Now, after a few questions, my opinion. The purpose of education, or going to school, is for children learn to socialize and discover what their potential is. Almost no one goes to school and doesn't discover a friend. And, after being in school for some time, students begin to realize what it is they would like to do for the rest of their life, as a job.

The role of students? I don't think that paying attention and focusing is the main role right now. We need to learn. For a VERY VERY simple example, we don't need to know that 2+2=4, but why it equals four. Of course, this is a very simple example, and I hope it makes my point. We, as students, need to delve into the wonderful world of learning, and absorb wisdom.

The role of the teachers is to guide, not teach directly. The students need to learn for themselves. The teachers need to show them how, and why. For example, in Ms. Smith's class we read Macbeth, but why did we read Macbeth? To better understand the idea of 'challenging the system.' Why do we need to learn about this idea? For the purpose of challenging the current system in everyday life now. In 'A Whole New Mind,' by Daniel Pink, it is stated that we are moving from the Industrial Age into the Conceptual Age, where right brained people ('creative' people) will become higher than left brained people ('number crunchers'). In other words, the Conceptual Age will require those who are high-touch and high-concept, able to use Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning in everyday life, as well in the broad goings-on of the world. Also, based on another theory in the book, teachers should show their students three things:
1) Can a computer do it better/faster? If a computer can do it, then companies won't need to hire actual people. Computers don't ask for wages.
2) Is what the student OR teacher offering in demand right now? This is an age of Abundance, so we have a lot of everything. We don't necessarily need everything someone has to offer us.
3) Can someone overseas do it cheaper, perhaps better? Education in Asia is a gift, so the students in Asia work harder, faster. They also work for cheaper, because they can make the same kind of living many Americans do with a lot less money.
So, the role of teachers is to show students the way to go above and beyond, out of the box, or whatever you want to call it.

Together, the students and teachers must show each other the way through education. It is like a simple equation, such as 2+2=4. Without the number two (the students), the answer cannot be four. Without the other number two (the teachers), the answer still cannot be four.

Finally, thank you for such a challenging question. Surely this is a question that will add wisdom to many students AND teachers who read and answer. Before I moved to Colorado, I was a boy who believed the world was the way everyone says it was. Now, I've come to question everything, even education. Thank you, everyone!

kristenm2012 said...

Education is a place where children are sent to be taught and formed into what the world needs them to be. Not only that but school is also a place where a person is able to form themselves into what they want to be, a person is taught skills that they will need throughout their lives. As a student I know firsthand that education can really stink, but in the long run it’s a pretty great thing.

Brianc2012 said...

I think education is the journey of finding yourself and what you like to do. I think that education guides you through the journey of life and it makes it easier to find yourself. Education can be seen in so many ways, and it can help or hurt you in many ways. You just have to find which part of education you like the best.

mariep2012 said...

Education should not be taught, it should be discovered. What I mean by this is the teacher needs to present and idea and help the students figure it out not by telling them the answer, but by helping find the answer themselves. When people are told information and told to remember it, they are less likely to because frankly, people don't like being told what to do! Also, education needs to prepare the student for the future, by showing them how to think for themselves mainly. Some day, we will be out in the world trying to fend for ourselves without the spoonfeeding of teachers and guardians. If we haven't experienced, or at least been informed about the big, wide world, there is no hope. By showing the students how to think up ideas for themselves, they can make decisions on their own and try to change the world.

carolineb2012 said...

I think that he purpose of education is not teach or be taught but to learn HOW to learn. I think being school helps us learn how to learn, because if you learn something in school, and then have to apply it school, such as with a test, it helps you learn how to learn things from life and then apply them. I'm not saying that school and education are the only things that help us learn or help teach us, I just think they are definitely major contributors to how we learn, and how we learn to learn.

justinp2012 said...

Dictionary.com defines education as "the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession." The purpose of education is to lay the foundation down to get us ready for a career when we grow up, and so that we can continue building upon that foundation to feed ourselves with knowledge. As Joe B. said, the latin roots mean to lead forth. Education leads us to what we were meant to do, but we must keep it up if we actually want to be successful. As I said before, it is just a foundation and it is up to us to build the rest. That is it's purpose.
Our role is to nurture it into something useful later in life. The teacher's role is to guide the student and teach the student how to nurture the knowledge we have gained.

bridgetL said...

I suppose I think that education is anyone teaching or leading someone towards or about anything. It could be a math teacher instructing a pupil on how to use the pythagorean theorum, a therapist helping someone deal with their problems, a mother showing her child how to make cookies, or even an older sibling setting the example of how to behave for their younger sibling. It can be anything where anyone is learning. It is important that the teacher does whatever it takes to help their pupil really take in the information and understand it on a deeper level. Different students learn differently, and so teachers must try their best to work on the behalf of those students. On the other hands, students must also be prepared to do whatever it takes to learn whatever it is they are learning, must have an open mind, and must be willing to follow the instruction of their teacher, while at the same time asking questions. No student who refuses to learn will ever learn. Similarly, if a student simply follows their teacher blindly and does not question why or how something is done, they will only learn on the surface, but will not truly comprehend their new knowledge or skills.

sammiet2012 said...

I think that the purpose of education is to prepare us, as students, for the future. I feel though that most of education isn't doing that. Most of education right now is giving us information about what we would need to know if we were to graduate tomorrow. I feel that the teachers role is to prepare us for that future world not the present. I feel as students our role is to absorb that information that is presented to us, then spit back out the questions we have. We must question everything, not just accept it.

bradyp2012 said...

I think that purpose of education is to teach kids many skills, ideas, and information in a variety of areas so the child can decide what he or she wants to do from all of the information and then have other skills that could be useful in life. Once a student has decided what his or her interests are they can learn even more in depth on that interest. Then they just get to have even more useful things to help them in their interests. Education is also their so students can learn about how to get along the world. They are taught good social skills that will help to be able to function with the world. That is the purpose of education.

samis2012 said...

I think the purpose of education is to prepare the students for what lies ahead. And as Kristenm said, "formed into what the world needs them to be." I also agree with what many posted that education is a chance for us to explore our interests and passions. It is a chance for the student to discover themselves. Though to us students it may seem like a tedious, torturous, day to day routine, but underneath it is here to help us find who we are and how to make the most of that in the world.

katieh2012 said...

I think that education has always been viewed as an adult being paid to teach the current youth things (facts, stories, etc.) that thay'll use for the rest of their life. Honestly, how much of it is actually used? We learn how the pilgrims came to America at the same time we learn that words like "dog" or "children" are nouns. We are taught how to add and subtract. We are taught the basics of drawing and art, about painters like Picasso. This basic knowledge is simply expanded as we progress in our school careers.

I personally feel that the teaching of this information should not be done solely for the children to learn the facts, but so that the children can learn to learn, think, and function in a world where these abilities are indespensible. Without education, kids don't learn to take good notes or take tests or, in some cases, how to interact with other people. I think that today's education system is designed to teach the "how to" necessary for success with the aid of facts and knowledge that may or may not help us later on.

The teacher's role is no longer to just stand at the front of the room and lecture about a subject while the students listen, but to teach the students to be good listeners. The students, in turn, have to go form being recepticles of information to PROCESSERS of information. Teaching isn't just based around a text book, but around the cumulative thoughts and ideas of the teacher and the students. These two parts of the classroom are becoming equals rather than the teacher being the superior. The students, in a sense, are learning to learn on their own.

These abilities that are almost sub-consciously taught will prepare us for our futures and what lies ahead. We are becoming increasingly independent as we get further alsong because these abilities are becoming stronger. Soon, we will be out on our own. Hopefully, our education system taught us well...

bayleyk2012 said...

As a student I believe that the purpose of education is to be better prepared for the future. To be prepared for a job that does not yet exist. The role of a student is to listen, and take the information given by the teacher and apply it to life. Apply it to something that makes you passionate. Something that you will want to do later in life. My teacher should push me. Always expect my best and push me to be even better. My whole life depends on what I learn now from my teachers. Like Smith likes to say. It's her job to change the world.

ashleys2012 said...

Education is about preparing yourself for the future. Education and learning are not just limited inside the classroom walls. One’s brain does not all of a sudden shut down once leaving the classroom. Education happens all the time, anytime.

Imagine yourself sitting in your living room with the super bowl blasting through your TV and you are downing your 8th mega hot dog. An hour later you are lying in your bed barely able to move due to the fact you ate half your body weight in meat. You just educated yourself. A teacher did not show you a power point and say “A recent study was done at Harvard University stating that eating exactly 8 hot dogs will result in you feeling sick for up to 3 hours.” You are your own teacher. In the future, you are going to think twice about reaching for that last hot dog.

Although education occurs in unexpected ways, in the end it all ties down to preparing yourself for the future.

Erin said...

Wow! I am impressed at some of the comments posted earlier today. After reading TristanL's post, I'm realizing what a difference it makes as students question the educational system. Pondering the value and purpose of education individually has its benefits and can spark one's passion of learning.

The purpose of education is to jumpstart life-long learning. The greatest disservice a teacher can do is squash the passion for learning in a student. Education is designed to prepare individuals to be contributing members to society and to inspire the leaders of tomorrow.

AllisonM2012 said...
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leslieh2012 said...

I think educatiors are meant to inspire. Educations is meant to help you find something that interests you, and help you get better at it. This is not what typicly happens in schools, but this is what I think education should be about.

katiez2012 said...

I believe that education is the preperation and information needed for what is ahead in life. I think that in some people's cases, more education is what is ahead in life so they just keep learning and learning and learning. Everyone needs some sort of an eduaction to get somewhere in life. I think that education can be taught or discovered. Depending on one's interests, everyone's education will be different. People interperet information in different ways all the time. Currently, education is mainly just adults teaching kids and other people facts, history, math, and general concepts needed in life. But as we move onto university education gets more personalized. I believe that teachers roles are to guide and teach the students what they need to know for the future. Students jobs are to take in the information and not only question it to learn more, but then show what they have learned to the teachers that taught them and the rest of the world. Teachers often say that they learn from their students so that can imply that everyone is both a teacher and a student. Thanks :)

lsadler2012 said...

Education should foremost be preparing students to enter the world and become creators, and synthesizers of knowledge and to understand the context around them. The student should never be looked at as a blackhole that you shove useless information into. The students role is to become educated and then ultimately reach wisdom. The teacher needs to be able to give the student the means necessary to educate themselves and those around them. In a fast paced and changing world the teacher needs to teach what is relevant and impertinent to today's societies and demads. Ultimatley I think that being educated can give someone a sense of happiness. I know I always feel fufilled when I walk out of the classroom having learned something that I, an hour ago, was unaware of.

alexandriab2012 said...

The purpose of education is to teach the next generation the knowlege that they must know for future jobs. Education is to learn about what is around you, the past, how to pay for things you need and to about other's ideas. Thus, are you able to incorperate those ideas with your own thoughts and ideas to beome smarter and to create things for future generations. Education can help you learn about your passions and dream to become that person which you are meant to become. Education however, is not meant to be negative, it is meant to be a positive. Edcation should not be taken for granted, in some countries education is not a aviable to everyone.

Laurao said...

Just as many others have said before me, I agree with Gregory. The purpose of education is to expand your knowledge in areas that interest you as well as pursuing your passions. Education is not just something soaked up, later to be lost in your brain of facts given over the 12 plus years that people are in school. I think that the knowledge gained needs to be knowledge used.
I think that a student’s role is to research topics of interest, to pursue areas in the education world, as well as the world in general, that could be of greater use than others. A student’s role is to help other students and learn more than what this educational system is giving us.
I believe that a teachers role is to help the students to pursue their dreams, find areas to learn more about, as well as give direction and advice on what has worked for them. A teacher is not just one that gives information anymore, they must be able to balance the aspect of teaching the students as well as giving the students freedom to create follow their own learning goals and aspects of interest.

AllisonM2012 said...

I think that the purpose of schooling and education is for students to learn how to learn. When a student becomes employed in the work force, they will learn much about the specifics of their job. They need to know how to relate to the information that they are given and have the ability to apply it. Furthermore, I believe that in the educational system, students and teachers should not waste their time being taught about a multitude of specific details that after the final exam will remain meaningless and never be thought about again. The topics instead should be taught through a whole-minded filter and stretch the students’ connection and application capacity, not necessarily just their memory.

If this new way is going to occur, then it is necessary that teachers and students venture out of societal norms. Current roles of education should be ousted and replaced with the ability to compete with the rising standards created by the rest of world.

As of right now, many (even teachers) refer school as a game that someone must complete if they want to secure a future. Education and learning should NOT be a game. It should be a pursuit to lengthen and expand the knowledge of one’s self as well as the world.

I agree with Tristan that a teacher’s role is not to tell the student what to think or know but rather to guide them. That would then mean that a student needs to be willing to learn as well as take chances. A teacher cannot guide one that is not willing to be guided. Education is a mutual effort between students and teachers. I also believe that a person cannot just be labeled as a student or a teacher. We are all both, teachers and students, at points in our lives. This thought also expands what the education system is and brings up the question: Is education just in schools and those who are being taught, or is it expanded to all those who have joined the pursuit of enlarging the capability to connect and apply?

PaulAB2012 said...

Education serves myriad purposes for humanity. For one it nurtures the brain and body allowing it to grow and develop, fostering it's abilities so that it can reach it's full potential. It also prepares people for their future so that they can succeed, prosper and add something to the world. It is also meant to teach us about our world, how it works and how to survive within it. It gives us a connection with our world and with each other that allows us to better survive and prosper. It also gives us the basic abilities and knowledge necessary to survive. The most important purpose of education however is to develop and grow one's self in all areas of life. It is to develop personal life skills in order to allow a person to understand the world around them and to make their place within it. Education is ultimately about finding success and happiness in life and in the world. If we have not allowed education to create a world of happy, fufilled human beings than we have failed... Thus the role of the teacher is to do everything and anything that is necessary to help a student become happy and sucessful. Their is no other purpose for a teacher beyond this nor is their any real purpose for education. The role of the student is to do everything in their power to achieve a state of happiness and success by developing their skills and knowledge to the point that it most benefits them.

nickb2012 said...

The purpose of education in school is different than the purpose of education in life.

In school, the purpose is to get good grades, and we. And do good in lifeby getting good grades.

The purpose of education in life is to learn as much as you can. This is what school should have, instead of tests, put a way to show what the student has learned and base the grade off of what they have learned. And not just memorized. Schools don't explain why, but instead just show what. In life, we ask why, but in school, we don't understand , we memorize

austin d 2012 said...

In my mind, education is like a key to your life, things you succeed and fail in, and things you find joy in and dislike. Education sets one up for the future that we don't know about. Educators, guide our thinking and hopefully guide us to a realm were our thinking grows buy itself.

kaelib2012 said...

I think at this point the role of education is to get students ready for college which in turn gets us ready for adulthood and the workforce. We are learning how to problem solve and deal with life so that when problems arise when we are older, we are not completely at a loss. My role as a student is to learn, do my homework, and pay attention in class so that learning isnt lost on my brain. I need to live up to my potential and not just sit back and do whatever so that I can get the grade I want without trying at all. The teachers role should be someone who is willing to help the students in anyway possible, tries to cater to our learning style, that sort of thing. I think education is moving in the right direction but isnt there yet.

kaelib2012 said...
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kailynw2012 said...

It is an interesting question, and I believe that the answer changes when the asker does. At first I thought that the answer was simple.

To learn. But then realized that anyone anywhere can learn especially in this day and age; it takes no school.

So, as a current student, I say that for me there are three purposes of school.

1. to give me choice, and opportunity

2. to give me a love of learning, so that my learning doesn't stop when school does

and

3. to teach me to think - (and how exactly do you do that?)

I suppose that school should be about today and even more so about tomorrow, but perhaps it should also be about the individual, the student. Its the start of my opportunity to write my own story titled life.

Bill Graziadei, Ph.D. (e)Learning Consultant said...

Socrates argued that education was about drawing out what was already within the student through questioning. My ten years of formal Jesuit socratic education embeded in me this approach and the original Latin root of the word education (e-ducere), meaning to lead out. Consequently, I approach education, both as a teacher and learner, as a process that fosters the knowledge (inquiry), attribute (reflection) and character (problem solving) of a learner from K-Grey.

treyb2012 said...

I think the purpose of education is the bring out the greatest potential of a child. One of the main things that I see our current education lacking is fun. I never get up in the morning and think "sweet, school!". Education needs to help kids find a passion and find what they are truly good at. If you are doing things in school that interest you and that make you think and want to be more than you are. If a kid is doing things in school that interest them they will be compelled to try harder and to work harder. I don't education is doing this. Its not that I don't think there doing it all all; their not doing it well enough. There is something missing to the whole picture when you dread going to school and would rather sit at home and waste your life doing pointless things. Schools need to get their act together. Education is about passion and fun and that is not at all what schools today cultivate. They cultivate testing and order when what most kids need is to do and learn what they are passionate about not how to take the CSAP. Education is suppose to be for the students. Standardized tests are defiantly not for the students.

TaylorG2012 said...

Education is extremely necessary in this society because it prepares us for the future. Without education our generation or any generation would not progress. We need education to learn and grow because we can't fully accomplish that on our own. Also, education gives us opportunity, it gives us all possible options and teaches us so that we can make good decisions, and oue own decisions later on in life.

TaylorG2012 said...

Education is extremely necessary in this society because it prepares us for the future. Without education our generation or any generation would not progress. We need education to learn and grow because we can't fully accomplish that on our own. Also, education gives us opportunity, it gives us all possible options and teaches us so that we can make good decisions, and oue own decisions later on in life.

annes said...

The purpose of education is to prepare citizens for life, to help them figure out their passions which hopefully will lead to success, and the pursuit to make our world a better place. I don't really think that education is doing that. I believe that our school systems should really make an effort, and maybe even their purpose, to help kids find out what their passions and strengths are and nurture and develop them.
I believe Seth Godlin wrote a very succinct summary on the purpose of education.
A students role should be absorbing information, utilizing information, and creating. It seems as though many students in America take their education for granted. Students should be more involved in the community. Instead of learning, learning, learning, and waiting till we feel we have a say in life and our world until we our "adults" we should be able to directly our effect our society. Students need to be given more trust/responsiblity/encouragment/accountibilty for the world they live in by their teachers and guardians. I think that students don't really think they matter or can make change to their world until they are an adult. That way of thinking and teaching needs to be changed, and is slowly changing already.
A teachers role should be to encourage young citizens to think. Teachers should help guide students and help them to get their voices heard.
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