As another school year begins, it makes me think more about the purpose school serves in our lives and in societies throughout the world. Most everyone reading this post has attended school and knows what that means to them personally. If asked, would we all have the same definition of school? Does it have the same meaning for a 2-year-old as a 12- or 20-year-old? Does it serve the same purpose for us no matter our age or station in life? What do we expect from school?
Many would define school as the brick-and-mortar building where children go to learn. It houses children who are educated so that they may contribute to society as they grow older. School is a place, and what is supposed to happen there is learning. This limited definition of school assumes that students of any age will learn what they need to learn in this space and in a specifically allocated amount of time. It assumes we are all able to meet mandated goals in the same way and along the same trajectory. Continue reading