“Redefining the Goal of Education”

Originally posted in our August 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter.

As we see the start of the public school year throughout much of the US and other countries, let’s take a moment to reflect on the goal of education and how we might want to reframe it. 

For starters, many of us believed that the path toward the highest paying and most rewarding job was a college degree. And while it is true that, on average, a college degree can have enormous benefits, this belief doesn’t tell the whole story. For one, almost half of those that enroll in college end up dropping out. What’s more, the economic demands of the job market simply don’t align with the idea that everyone needs a four-year degree. 

For many of you reading this, this is not news. So what does this mean in terms of education goal setting? This video from Kevin Fleming suggests that rather than only caring about graduating high school or getting a degree, we should be setting the goal of finding a successful and fulfilling career. This comes through focusing on one’s unique interests, talents, and abilities, often found through improved self-awareness. Finally, the video offers several more illuminating suggestions for how to set these new goals.

But what is the overall benefit of changing how we think about the importance of education? How can changing the goals improve a system that is appearing more and more dated and flawed?

Hat tip to ELI friend Brian Dozer for sharing this piece with us. 

To explore this topic further, check out Fleming’s book “(Re)Defining the Goal: The True Path to Career Readiness in the 21st Century.”

What do you think?