Last night I was part of a webinar designed to explore the purposes of education, sponsored by Nipissing University and Carlo Ricci. At the heart of the webinar were the questions: what do you think the purpose of education is, and are your ideas expressed in the work you are doing, or the learning setting you find yourself in?
The results of the webinar were fascinating. Carlo and I had designed some polls to figure out who our audience was, and why they were there. Then I outlined some current “purposes” most often described in contemporary talk, and how I feel this conversation has been hijacked by a discourse that defines educational purpose almost exclusively as economic and social attainment. Since the early 1980s, I argued, a