Elaborating on the final goal of education

In my “Why to blog?” post, I made the following statement:

“Like college education for must of us, the key achievement obtained is the process itself and not the finished “product”.”

Today I was re-reading Mark Shuttleworth’s blog and found an entry called “It’s the ability to learn tools, not the tools themselves”. You can read it yourself at http://www.markshuttleworth.com/page/6/ . Essentially, Mark’s foundation is trying to “design a curriculum to stimulate the development of analytical skills”. Later on he writes “Society, technology and the times change so fast that any fact, process or algorithm we learn at school is by definition not going to be useful for any length of time”. And then he goes “The real skills that serve us are the ability to adapt, learn, apply the products of that learning, and participate in the discussions and challenges of the day”.

The final paragraph is brilliant: “The idea is not that kids learn tools they use for the rest of their lives… They should learn tools which they use AT SCHOOL to develop a general ability to learn tools. That general ability – to break a complex problem into pieces, identify familiar patterns in the pieces, solve them using existing tools, and synthesize the results into a view or answer… that’s the skill of analysis, and that’s what we need to ensure kids graduate with”.

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