Aims of education

Where do we want to go?

The aims of education in an environment that potentially changes faster than most people realize, needs to be placed as the top priority in the modern educational discussion. Without rethinking our aims, it is of little value to discuss administrative reforms, testing, accountability, pedagogic practices or the use of technology, to name some of the current discourses. Bringing the discussion about aims to the centre is, I claim, the biggest challenge for modern education. This is unfortunately a neglected issue. Discussing how to get somewhere tends to be meaningless if you don’t discuss where to go. There is some effort in this direction, emphasizing aims such as the work of Reiss & White (2013) or Biesta´s (2010) triarchic educational aims of, the attainment of academic qualifications, socialisation, and ‘subjectification’ – becoming a wise human being. Also, but with a different emphasis is the work of Young et al. (2014) on powerful knowledge, which may not be so far from the other two discourses, if one relinquishes the tie to traditional subjects (that Young is perhaps not willing to do).