From what we reading in the first 2 week, I find it two group of people are augured about the purpose of education, on the one hand, those author like Edward Conard and Pew, they claim that education should teach student the still which can use it to make money, on the anther hand, those author like Nicholaos Jones and David Foster Wallace, they claim that education should teach student how to think and make them be good people. In this paper, I will agree that either Wallaces’s idea of education should focus on develop critical thinking skills and Conard’s idea of education should focus on develop practical skills are both not completion of education, student should develop both skill during their education.
About the purpose of education, if I ask my grandma, who didn’t have a lot of chance to have education, she will answer me education is surely for getting a good job and making a lot of money. But I think if making money is the ultimate goal, that education is only the lowest level tool. So, I don’t think making money should be the goal of education, and I claim that education should develop the critical thinking skills and study of liberal art is very meaningful.
The importance of education is to enable students to learn to understand themselves. In the speech of Wallaces’s This is Water, he claims that education teaches you how to think, and what you think is part of what is hard to see and talk about. In his opinion, the true freedom is the true value of education and this freedom is how student can see the world from. And also, his speech, he claim that the true value of liberal arts study is “how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out.”, which means that the study of liberal art teacher student how to think jump out of box, that those student who have liberal art education will not feel so bored when they are in the day in and day out life. Wallaces hopes that through education, we can learn to self-adjust and choose independently.
I am total agree about the idea of Wallaces’s that the true freedom is the true value of education, but I think it is not reality to just talk about that in our real life. Regardless of how much education has been given to the spirit of cultivating freedom, morality, quality, and all-round development, it is ultimately ready for work. Why we need to chose our major? Because you can decide what skill you what to learn in school. After learning this knowledge, it is possible to find a better job. Or we can say something higher, this is to cultivate the talents that the society needs. This principle seems very simple, but it is often overlooked.
About the liberal art major and stem major, although I think the liberal art major is not useless, but I think, the develop of stem major is better to grow economy. From Edward Conard’s report of We don’t need more humanities majors, he claimed that to grow economy, American need more talented to study stem major, which implement technological innovation can grow economy. He said that “US growth is predominately driven by successful high-tech startups, such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple, which have spawned large industries around them.”, which means that the growing of American is depend on those high technological company. I feel like this is true. High technological promote social productivity enhancement and change the way of social production, which also create more social wealth. And from Conard’s report, he also show that since American need more stem major to grow economy, American have a lot of foreign scientists and engineers. It doesn’t sound really globalization but it show that the talented of stem is “most pressing demands of society”.
Although money is not the only way to define succeed, but if we say “He is a succeed person”, mostly the first word out of main is “Rich”. To being rich, the first step is to have a good job. In pew research, he show that those people who have high education have more job opportunities and higher income. He show that “the value of their degrees has increased, Between 1965 and last year, the median annual earnings of 25- to 32-year-olds with a college degree grew from $38,833 to $45,500 in 2012 dollars, nearly a $7,000 increase.”, which means have a higher education mostly means can earn more money. The different of high education and low education, low education like high school is mostly teaching general, that is develop critical thinking skill; and the high education like college, they teach more about the skill in their own field, which is the practical skills for work. For those people that graduate with a low education, what makes them different with those people who graduate in a high education, is the practical skills. That from here, I think in the high education, student should study more stem skill than just think about how to have a good critical thinking skills.
Overall, I feel both side of argument didn’t win, education should make student to become a talend that have both good critical thinking skills and good practical skills. So I think the main purpose of education cannot be predicted. Education has no purpose other than itself. What I call education has no purpose. It means that we should not hope that receiving education now will pay off in the future, whether this return is further education or something else. I believe that education should just focus on what student learn, what is important is just enjoy it during studying.