TED Conversations

Adam Burk

Founder/ Director, Treehouse Institute

TEDCRED 500+

This conversation is closed.

In your opinion, what should the purpose of education be?

Education is a prominent cultural institution used to perpetuate the prevailing values of a society.

Our modern education system has a sordid past largely rooted in industrialism. It's aim is to produce economically viable products--employable citizens. Nearly all our tweaks to the system in the last 100+ years are simply attempts to ensure that the products (graduates) are prepared for the work force.

I want to hear from YOU as I believe this conversation is crucial to lay a foundation to create significant and meaningful change.

Here is my answer:

I believe that education should be an empowering process that allows and guides children to develop their passions, critical thinking, compassion, and orientation towards wisdom for timely action.

In other words, self-cultivation should be the purpose of education. Understanding self-cultivation in terms of being a part of a unified field of relationships is key to the growth of a mature culture of peace. When the natural web of our relationships is used to strengthen our depth of knowledge, the feedback from the environment supports timely adjustments and refinements in our emotional and technical developments.

For this conversation, please focus on the question "in your opinion, what should the purpose of education be?"

We'll talk about the "how" in another conversation.

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Closing Statement from Adam Burk

Thank you all for joining this conversation. There are beautiful aspirations here of bringing for the best of humanity through the development of individuals, married with tensions to ensure that society is served and supported and that the basics are not overlooked.

There are currently 365 comments and 365 distinct articulations of "what the purpose of education should be." The process to develop a consensus on this is beyond the scope and purpose of this conversation. However, I do hope that it is understood that this question and its answer are the shapers of education systems and in turn cultures.

And so I invite you to ponder the question Thomas Brucia raised earlier, "Who should decide what the purpose of education is? http://www.ted.com/conversations/8190/who_should_decide_what_the_pur.html

Once we decide who should be making that decision then we can return to my original question and ultimately re-inventing education.

Thank you all again for sharing of your selves.

In peace,
Adam

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    Dec 23 2011: Sorry it might not be connected to this question but i think when we born we see people speaking from them we learn how to speak say words if there were no one speaking we didn't know that we can speak it takes about 2 years for us after we born to be able to control or use a bit correctly our senses.
    An example we humans has made a great discoveries time after time after time if Albert Einstein has not seen or read
    about Sir Isaac Newton he would not have those discoveries that he has he would have then first thought to make those
    discoveries/Laws that Newton has it was the education that told Einstein that we have discover till here we know this about this you have to see understand research from here not from beginning.
    I think we give our children's education that we already have so that they know what we know

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