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What is the role of the student in the classroom today?

Much conversation has taken place regarding the failure of education and the failure of the teacher in the classroom. What role does the student have in their own learning as he or she travels through the education system? Or does the student play any part in their own education? Does the student hold any responsibility in the failure of education?

In a perfect world, what would the ideal student look like in today's world?

Specific examples are most appreciated rather than general thoughts and assumptions.

Topics: education student
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    May 11 2013: First let me start with the classroom and thereby the curriculum - or more accurately the purpose of most curriculums - as presented in classrooms all around the world. For most people, the principle purpose of an education is "to get a job" and the better the education the better the "job". And the Educational part is supposed to provide a curriculum directed at promoting job readiness skills. Sure there will be all kinds of "other courses", but the core direction is entry into the job market and even a "career".

    Therefore, the role of the student would seem to be assimilating the skills and the knowledge base, leading to some sort of expertise that will ensure them becoming a contributing member of that "jobs" market. Perhaps even a leading producer of those "jobs" as an entrepreneur.

    However, if one is interested in why "jobs" is the primary purpose of an education, we need to look at the Industrial Revolution 300 years ago.
    The factories, businesses and counting houses all needed great numbers of workers that could read, write and do simple math in order to build, run and maintain the machines of industry as well as keeping the records of commerce. But only the aristocracy and the priests had those shills and they were busy with other things.

    So the masses had to be taught these skills, and only reading, writing and arithmetic mattered. Hence the 3R's we hear so much of today. And This is why we are saddled with a concept of "education" as simply leading to a "job" or a "career". Nothing about becoming an informed and empowered citizen. Nothing in the core curriculum about the various forms democracy can take on or in-depth comparisons of one's own and other systems of governance. No focus on ensuring our students becoming better communicators and problem solvers. Objective discourse vs polarized dogma.

    Too bad there are not nearly enough "JOBS" to go around and it really sucks that so many jobs become a boring way to spend one's days.

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