The essay "Changing the Education Paradigm" talks about the purpose of education in general and as a way to master the challenges of society and get ahead in life.
The noble purpose of education is to enable the individual to acquire needed skills and knowledge to muster the resources needed to make critical thinking possible, and from there effect desired changes in society. This is the lofty aim wherein an individual becomes empowered to greatly improve life for everybody. It is the main idea of famed educator John Dewey, who argued education should be used to help improve human nature, to raise human consciousness, to uphold moral values, and to infuse ethical behavior and thinking of all educated people. There is a need to restore real education again as an integral part of learning about life skills and competencies, not limited to acquiring skills to get a job.
Real education prepares the person to face life and be able to enjoy it to the fullest. It is not the mere memorization of books and articles; rather, it should provide an understanding of what goes on in the larger real world. To be educated is to be imbued with those ideas and concepts which elevate the person into a real human being able to engage society in a meaningful way, get along in the world and give a good account of oneself. As Spayde somewhat put it succinctly, it should be much more than the “obligatory filling of our heads” with facts and figures which are oftentimes meaningless in the grander sweep of life. (Spayde 69), but education must not be limited only to the four corners of the classroom; rather, it should be the whole world, instead, made into a classroom, in a figurative sense. What Spayde meant to say was formal education in an academic setting should also be supplemented by informal schooling, in terms of real-life experiences, in which life-long lessons are learned and allow the student to distinguish the more important things in life. It will enable him to become a much more improved person able to tackle the challenges in life. A lot of distinguished Americans were essentially self-taught, and this includes Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Mark Twain. These people did not limit their own education to what the classroom can offer, but supplemented their truncated academic schooling with their search for knowledge by living life to the fullest and did not confine their search to what was offered only in schools; in essence, the world became their giant classroom. As an example, Mark Twain quit school early and did not finish high school, and yet he educated himself by becoming a river pilot on the Mississippi River, met a lot of people, got to observe human behaviors and human nature, and became a self-taught expert on many topics concerning the Mississippi (Gribben 1). His frequent travels made for a real education, and his knowledge of the Mississippi is better than most people’s; he could cite facts about its geography, river basin (delta), soil fertility, and size from his prodigious memory (Twain 8). He ended up better educated