What is Purpose Education?

by curriculummatters

Education serves society to give access of possibilities to its citizens. When students succeed in the classroom, society gains value. These successful students have gained enough knowledge to create their own possibilities. Their possibilities are endless. Doctors, business owners, politicians, artists, engineers and bloggers invest their lives to their purpose. They were given access to possibilities from their society through education. Teachers influenced their lives. Guided them. Instructed them. When students fail in the classroom, like many students in poor urban school districts, society losses value. Gangs, drugs, early life pregnancy, jail, death, rape, hunger are everyday realities of young people in school. When survival is your purpose like many of these young people, education takes a back seat.  “Do your math. Show up on time. Go to school.” These young people are ignored and told what to do instead of engaged in real conversation at their level. “I’m scared. I’m hungry. I don’t know that I don’t know. I need to dropout to survive.” Survival is ingrained in us all, but survival ought not be life’s purpose.

Traditional education prepares students to become professionals. Schools package young people as a gift to the workforce like Ford packages cars in Michigan. This is a reality for most schools in the US. Purpose education expands the responsibility of schools toady.  Some might want to define Purpose Education as character education or teaching students how to be responsible citizens in a global 21-century economy . These are noble missions, but limiting. Purpose education invites students to explore meaning, develop curiosity, and access possibility. Purpose education grants students access to explore purpose in their reality through classroom experiences in all subject areas.

With classrooms focused on Purpose Education, all students will succeed.

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