Since the time I started teaching I have been asking this question to literally every batch I teach. Since I teach mostly at the post graduate level I assumed it must be the most matured answers I get. Surprisingly when I worked with a bunch of school kids, they seemed to have better answers. The school kids went to school “to learn and be taught” while the post graduate students went to school “to get a degree and a job”!!
I wonder how when the same kids grow up, the answer changes from being liberal at school to more servile at college! From wanting to be taught we move on to get a job. From wanting to learn we move on to getting a degree. Somewhere along the way we are losing out on the underlying need to go to school i:e the place of formal learning. What should school be for? Especially in today’s world where most of the information part of the subjects can be learnt sitting at home on the laptop – why should we spend time going to school? How should we spend time at school?
Face to face time at school between teacher and student should be treated with care. It should be spend in reflection, contemplation and discussions. The more discussions, the more the perspectives to look at the same body of knowledge. It is by looking differently at the same set of questions that we keep improving our understanding of the world and its functioning. It is through this same method that we solve many of the challenges that people face in the world. All this enables enlargement of our thinking faculty. This leads to more open minded citizens for the future.
So fundamentally schools are places where people are taught how to think? These are places where people are allowed to learn how to think? Once they learn “how to think” they must embark on the path that excites them the most. This will show the world more places.
Going to school for anything else is actually not using it for the right purpose.
Think about it!!