Why do children go to school?
What subjects do they learn there?
What do they learn mathematics (geography, history, foreign languaes) for?
Is learning facts the only purpose of education?
Read the text and say what the purpose of school in your opinion is.
If you ask yourself why children go to school, you’ll probably say that they go to learn their own lanuage and other languages, arithmetic, geography, geometry, history, science and all other subjects. That is quite true: but why do they learn these things? And are these things all that they learn at school?
We send our children to school to prepare them for the time when they will be big and will have to work for themselves. They learn their own language so that they will be able to tellothers clearly what they want and what they know, and understand what others tell them. They learn foreign languages in order to be able to benefit from what peple in other countries have written and said and in order to make people from other countries understand what they themselves mean. They learn arithmetic in order to be able to measure and count things in their daily life, geography in order to know something about the world around them, and history to know something about human beings they meet every day. Nearly everything they study at school has some practical use in their daily life, but is that the only reason why they go to school?
No. There is more in education than just learning facts. We go to school above all to learn how to learn, so that, when we leave school, we can continue to learn. A man who really knows how to learn will always be successful, because wherever he has to do something new he had never had to do before, he will rapidly teach himself how to do it in the best way. The uneducated person, on the other hand, is either unable to do something new, or does it badly.
The purpose of school, therefore, is not just to teach languages, arithmetic, geography, etc., but to teach pupils the way to learn.
(Hill L. A. Comprehension and Precis Pieces for Overseas Students)
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