The true goal of education isn’t test results of any kind. It isn’t a grade point average. It isn’t content mastery. Indeed, ‘goal’ isn’t the right word – the true direction of education is toward self-support.
It is a much more substantial and comprehensive direction. For decades now I have told parents that they have 18 years to let go of their children and if they feel they’re behind in this process, they need to practice actively. By the time students go to college, they need to be able to make their own choices, seek out what guidance and additional information they might need, and have a maturing sense of what risks they can deal with without too many calamities. It is helpful for students to live at the college’s campus and not at home.
It is an odd contradiction that various forms of educational authority try to limit the learners opportunities as they practice learning to learn. We’ve all heard the saying that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. The dominating teacher, the rigid curricula, the test as proof of learning, the ever increasing state demands for standards and standardization – all work to impose their will on the learners, often effectively sabotaging their progress toward becoming responsive and self-determining adults. In my view this is what “Un-American Activity” is really about.
*c.f. Fritz Perls on Birth