Sunday, February 7, 2010

Who is school for?

Over the years the purpose of school has changed. At one time it could be said that the purpose of school was to simply produce employees.

Some like John Dewey have said that:

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.

Dewey's words imply that school is more about the whole child and less about the economy or the workforce.

I can remember having a conversation about this topic with a teacher colleague and they told me:

You know, school isn't for everyone.

That statement still gives me the chills. If you believe school is just a glorified employee training program then this statement isn't all that concerning. After all, some people are born ahead of their time and don't fit in our current world because they were meant to
shape our next world.

But what if you subscribe more to Dewey's philosophy? What human being should be denied the opportunity to education? Or in Dewey's words, who should be denied life?

If we undestand what John Dewey was trying to say then we have to stop saying children fail school; because if school is for everyone, and a child fails, then school failed the child.


  1. Great post. I totally agree. We must go out of our way, out of our comfort zone to reach all students. What kind of life does a person have if "school was not for them?" With few exceptions, that is a life that will be very difficult.

    Thanks for reading my post as well. I will include your blog on my blog roll and will continue to read your thoughtful posts!

    Tracy Stevens

  2. What kind of life does a person have if school is not for them??????

    You're pulling my leg aren't you? It's 2010 not 1910.

    See, for example,

  3. Unfortunately, I did not make up this story. An actual teacher said this to me.

    I kid you not.

    Thanks for the comments.


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