The Learning Renaissance

What is education for? Gibb’s list misses a key dimension

A perfect illustration of the restricted view that governments have on the role and purpose of education is illustrated by a UK example. Nick Gibb the Tory government Schools Minister put forward one view of what they see as the purpose of education, it is seemingly at odds with the methods currently employed by the Education Secretary to re-focus the curriculum on STEM subjects…


John White.

Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister, addressed the Education Reform Summit earlier this month on the purposes of education.  He said there are three. “Education is the engine of our economy, it is the foundation of our culture, and it’s an essential preparation for adult life”.

The first is self-explanatory. The second is about “introducing (the next generation) to the best that has been thought and said, and instilling in them a love of knowledge and culture for their own sake”. The third has to do with “key character traits, including persistence, grit, optimism and curiosity”.

There’s not even a nod in these aims towards equipping young people as democratic citizens. Nothing on

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About educationalist04

Dazed and confused much of the time but convinced we can, as a species, do much better than this if we set our minds to being much more positive and productive towards our fellow humans.

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