Children do not exist to fuel economic growth, nor even to satisfy parents' ambitions for them. They exist in their own right as persons. Of course learning -to be competent and to contribute to the community's well-being - is a vital element in the growth of a person, but it is only one side of the story. Education conceived entirely in instrumental terms, whether for the honing of a fine tool in the economy, or for furthering personal ambition to "get on", is out of balance.
The young have other needs as well: to explore a fascinating world beyond themselves; to develop a critical mind; to discover who they are through constructive and stable relationships; to form long-term purposes and practise the discipline needed to pursue them.
From the nursery to the student stage, all real teachers measure the progress of a person by subtler standards than those of official tests.
St Anne's College, OxfordReuse content