Have you ever asked yourself why children go to school? You will probably say that they go to learn their own language and other languages, arithmetic, geography, geometry, history, science and all the other subjects. That is quite true, but why do they learn these things? And are these things all that they learn at school?
We send our children to school to prepare them for the time when they will be big and will have to work for themselves. They learn their own language so that they will be able to tell others clearly what they want and what they know, and understand what others tell them. They learn foreign languages in order to be able to benefit from what people in other countries have written and said and in order to make people from other countries understand what they themselves mean. They learn arithmetic in order to be able to measure and count things in their daily life, geography in order to know something about the world around them, and history to know something about human beings they meet every day. Nearly everything they study at school has some practical use in their life, but is that the only reason why they go to school?
No. There is more in education than just learning facts. We go to school, above all, to learn how to learn, so that, when we have left school, we can continue to learn. A man who really knows how to learn will always be successful, because whenever he has to do something new which he has never had to do before, he will rapidly teach himself how to do it in the best way. The uneducated person, on the other hand, is either unable to do something new, or does it badly.The purpose of schools, therefore, is not just to teach languages, arithmetic, geography, etc., but teach pupils the way to learn.