s, of which being responsible for the public dollars and the parties who see, at least for preK-12 or above, the need to have individuals with competencies to participate in the economy. That includes corps, gov't and even parents and children
There are those in the above group which see the humanities as also being critical at many levels. There are few who see education as a self directed exploration and thirst for knowledge. The libraries at Alexandria had scholars as guides. Academic robes have pockets so that the scholars can accept payment for being guides, tutors and providing similar functions. Few scholars were independently wealthy and few that searched for knowledge could survive without some form of income.
Early institutions in the US were often affiliated with a religious group with agendas, also.
It seems to me that it is the rare student, today, who is able to go down the education assembly line while maintaining the ability to wander off the "belt" and can keep the joy of discovery alive. Be happy and learn your multiplication tables. Much of this "joy" and "learning" needs the support of the community in general and the parents in particular. When a parent can write to a college president to see if their child's preschool will be the start on the right path for admission to a selective institution, education has problems.
When knowledge is no longer confined within the Ivy covered walls but is freely accessible and when there are smart bots, like IBM's Watson, which can maintain a sense of humor while outplaying the champions of Jeopardy it raises serious questions as to what should be contained in an "education" and thus what is the role of those who are educators. When this is freely available, what do institutions have left other than certification?
On the other hand, when "heuristics" or value judgments are now being built into very fast adders (computers) that can respond faster to life/death decisions than humans, what indeed is the purpose of a human and thus what joyful learning experience will be most meaningful in the societal sense and in the purely economic sense?
These "fast adders" (an adder is the heart of a computer's life and also a highly toxic snake) are not here other than in the most simple form. But then the Japanese cars were not able to function well when they were first introduced. We are in an information society, a world where information is an economic factor the same as capital, labor, land, etc and it is not just an externality that can be seen as imbedded in our technologies.…