Nice blog post by Heather Wolpert-Gawron over at the new Education section of Huffington Post (caveat: I've had very hot and cold reactions to the stuff in this new Huffington Education section; some of it has been great - but some has been mind-numbing - I'm curious what you all think about it, but that's a separate discussion...)

The question here is the one posed by Heater W-G:

What is the purpose of public education?

You get 30 WORDS ONLY to answer this question.

You can read about the answers she collected from 300 different people in her blog post.

Here is my answer:

Give everyone the chance to learn to READ, WRITE, THINK, CREATE and SHARE so that they can achieve personal satisfaction and professional success throughout their lives: Knowledge is power.

What  30-word answer would you give to that question???

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Now, there's a big question. Here's my attempt at an answer. (3 words spare, but then one word is undefined, perhaps it could be qualified to 'life chase'?)

Modern education should equip students for the autonomous joy of the chase, with the capacity to share with very different others both in and about their chase.
Ooooh, Ian - that is good. I really like the "share with very different others" - I think I will steal that to modify mine! :-)

Give everyone the chance to learn to READ, WRITE, THINK, CREATE and SHARE what they've learned with very different others, so as to achieve personal satisfaction and professional success.
Ok, here's mine. Haven't checked out the article yet, just read your answer, Laura.
Thank you for starting this forum!

Enable students to be strong learners with solid and growing repertoires of skills in communication, reflection, and analysis. Help students to develop and contribute to positive and diverse learning communities.
Now I've read Ian's too, and the whole article by Heather Wolpert-Gawron. Inspiring stuff. I love the way Heather tells about having a summit over a sundae--a dining debate! That's one of my favorite things to do. There's nothing so nice as food, drink, and debate with people you care about. I think she's brought up a very good question.

Those are interesting categories she ended up developing to summarize the 300 responses to the question she and her friend were pondering.

We need to get Heather on Fireside; let's ask!
Connie, I really like this trinity of communication, reflection and analysis. Argh: how am I going to find room to squeeze that into mine...???! I think I'm going to have to start creating sneaky compound words or something: analytico-reflecto-communication or something, ha ha!
I vote for reading and writing as imitable cultural practices to learn in school. Luckily we do NOT need school to learn how to speak: babies just do that, thank goodness, on their own!

Just imagine what a disaster it would be if we were depending on the school system not just to teach us to read and write (which it does such a botched job of anyway), but simply to speak at all. Eegad, what a nightmare. I think I might try to write a science fiction story about such a nightmare, if only to exorcise the nightmare from my mind!
Oh my gosh, I love Wikipedia, but I never thought of looking up stupidity there. HA. I will return to this article for much enjoyment this weekend. Thank you!!! :-)
A very good question: I think it has to be LEARNED, that's for sure... but unfortunately, I think foolishness can be self-taught, ha ha.
Ahhhhhhh, Wikipedia! :-)
For the wise fool, we need look no further than Aesop! :-)
We are very lucky with the metaphor of light to work with.

I am all for enlightenment! :-)
Oh, this looks marvelous!!! I have bookmarked it for reading this weekend. :-)


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