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Essay on The Purpose of a Public School Education

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As an educator, living in a country where public schools are not as praised, or in the eye of the public, are not as strong as they are in other countries, I constantly ponder about the question: what is the purpose of public school education? Lots do not contemplate about the purpose of public schools, forgetting that this question is probably at the base of all schooling.

As I started to dig deeper into this topic and really think about the purpose of public school education, I took to my fellow colleagues to ask them what they think it is. The results of our discussions and conversations were astounding, and I realized that many teachers never really took the time to think about this. Their definitions about education in itself, as
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Unfortunately, many believe that what it means to educate is to train students in the main subjects, such as Math, Science, English, and History.

However, I believe that our society is much more complicated than what is covered in these subjects. I also believe that it is not only ineffective to force students to learn, but it is also unjust. Most people believe that the need for a strong public school system is for social justice. They believe that the system molds citizens into democratic citizens. Indeed, all that was mentioned are wonderful goals, but the reality of the public school system does not reflect this “ideal school system”. Once we delve into the depths of most public school systems we do not find a system that promotes democracy. Instead we find an organization that is outdated, constructed on social hierarchies, that disregards everything we know about effective organizations and cognitive development. We find an institution that disempowers people, forcing them to do things against their will; all while stressing that it is for their own good. If a “modern-day” democratic society is a society in which people are collectively in control of their lives and of their community, then our “modern-day” public school system is indeed anti-democratic. (Loder, 2006)

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