- Education -> Job -> Money -> Live
- Does formal education still accomplish its goal?
- Humanity values power, money, and status more than anything but we don’t want to admit it. Education sounds better.
- Kids need to feel valued by their teachers because Value = Love.
- Humanity’s basic emotional needs are not being met in the home, school, or workplace and it’s causing real pain.
The Purpose of Education Has Not Changed
By Kevin R. Strauss, M.E.
I believe the original purpose of school was to make money. A person with money had a much easier time meeting their basic physical needs for food, clothes, & shelter. Having a formal “education” meant you were more likely to obtain a job that you and your family could survive on. It began with an 8th grade education, then high school (grade 12), then college, and today a masters. However, even teachers with a master’s struggle to afford housing. I’ve known PhD graduates who earned <$40,000/yr in their first career job.
Fast forward 200 years, and even having a college degree doesn’t mean you’ll be able to earn a livable wage, not to mention the financial debt to obtain that degree. Today, a teenager can earn a 6 or 7 figure income as a YouTuber or Video Gamer and without a high school diploma.
I think many students are completely disenfranchised with school because it no longer guarantees what it originally did, earning a livable wage.
“Why should I ‘suffer’ in school with no guarantee of a payout? Why should I feel terrible and judged when I don’t ‘make the grades’ and when I’m constantly compared to my classmates? It feels awful and causes me so much anxiety!”
Today, a formal education is as much a matter of status than anything else. US society still values college much higher than trade school. It’s a serious problem and likely driving the shortage of “skilled labor” (FYI, I believe doctors are “skilled laborers” too.) Most people still “value” formal education but what we value more is Power, Money, and Status and a formal education is not required for these Top 3. These days an actor, pro athlete, or social media influencer has that Status and formal education is not required. Granted, a doctor or lawyer still receives “status” in society and formal education is needed for those professions, the upper echelon of traditional careers. I wonder for how much longer.
It is a basic human need to feel valuable because, in our brain, Feeling Valued = Feeling Loved. Love, connection, & belonging is a basic emotional need and equally important to our basic physical needs. (Maslow did not create the Hierarchy of Needs. A marketing team created the pyramid based on an incorrect interpretation of Maslow’s 1943 Theory of Human Motivation.)
In schools today, its original purpose of providing a means of earning money is no longer universal. At least, it doesn’t appear so. Further, formal education has always and continues to be an authoritarian environment riddled with shame and judgement, i.e., emotional, little “t” trauma. “Listening” to your teacher means “obeying” their demands, without question.
First and foremost, I believe if we want children to be excited about going to school, we must create an environment that FEELS good and nurtures every child emotionally. (Note: Emotional Health is different than Mental Health.) If a child FEELS love, connection, and belonging, at school, then they won’t loathe it like so many do starting in 1st grade.
When kids experience a loving environment and an emotional connection with their teachers and peers, helping them learn the overpacked curriculum will be orders of magnitude more successful and behaviors will improve dramatically.
In my opinion, this is where schools need to begin because an emotionally (and amygdala) hijacked child simply cannot engage their “thinking” brain. No human can. Further, it is their behaviors that are reflecting the emotional pain they’re constantly experiencing and trying to manage. Behaviors change, including learning, when ALL the basic needs are met, physical and emotional, and nurtured daily.
Finally, as for the purpose of school, I do not believe it has changed since formal education began. What has changed are the kinds of jobs available in society today that result in a livable wage. And depending on the person, a formal education may not be necessary, at least not higher education.
Now, what would happen if money was no longer an issue and every person had enough food, water, clothes, and shelter to meet their physical needs and their family?