What is the true aim of education? To learn skills that will make us more employable or able to command better salaries? To develop our minds and our powers of reasoning? The answer of this noted activist and teacher may surprise you. Find out what he has to say here:
The end and aim of all education is the development of character.
–Francis W. Parker
Education has to go to the roots of the personality and effect change, transforming attitudes, dispositions, and the fundamental commitment of the individual. The Greeks, from which so much of the Western tradition is derived, placed great emphasis on the development of character, and this goal was the chief rationale for sports and Olympic competition. The medieval Christian ideal of learning also focused on the education of the whole person: body, soul, and spirit. In the East, Tibetan tradition places great emphasis on the good heart, and this good heart is the aim of much Buddhist practice and education. The author’s uncle, John Cosgrove, himself a college professor, used to say, “Our universities are filled with people who have brilliant minds but stupid hearts!” We simply pay too much attention to facts and skills and not enough to fostering responsibility, ethics, charity, and kindness.