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What Is the Role of Education in Society Today?

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Quick Answer

A primary role of education is to equip people with the knowledge to make a positive difference in society. Also, education helps instill values, attitudes and behaviors that align with those expected in a society.

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As technology and the culture changes, the role of education evolves. The core purpose of education will always remain the same, which is to empower people with important information and skills so they can be successful in the future, hopefully contributing to bettering society. Education is a vital part of society and a community growing and advancing in general. However, the methods of delivery for education has been changing as has the role of the teacher and the traditional classroom. Although the future of education remains to be seen, it's clear there are major changes in the way that people are teaching and learning.

Teaches Critical Thinking
In modern times when the internet is readily available and bursting with information, education, especially kindergarten through 12th grade, has a different role than it did before. Rather than being a source of facts and information, teachers offer applied learning as well as teaching critical thinking skills. When there's so much information available, it's important to be able to have discernment.

Prepares People for Careers
Attending educational institutions is vital in learning the necessary information to be successful in various fields. Also, there are new and modern career fields that don't require traditional educational paths. These include computer programming and website development. For nontraditional education, students can attend boot camps that teach critical skills for a fraction of the cost of a university education.

Engages People's Passions
With the advent of the Internet, anyone's passions are easier to learn about than in the past. Whether it's learning how to paint or how to fix a vintage receiver, there are guides and tutorials available. In addition, K-12 institutions offer extracurricular activities or clubs that teach students new skills that can be very valuable as they get older and pursue career options.

Provides a Better Life
Education prepares young people for the demands of work life and mitigates the risks of poverty. Educated people also recognize the importance of social justice and sustainability and are more apt to apply their knowledge and skills beyond their job roles. Increased education plays a role in a person's social mobility and likelihood to remain in good health.

Evolves with Technology
The way teachers teach and students learn is ever-changing. Teachers can now purchase lesson plans from other teachers while students can subscribe to services that help them with their homework. To stay relevant, the K-12 curriculum must continue to evolve and change in order to adapt to the changing times. There's a need to foresee new careers in the future and to prepare students for real jobs.

No Longer in Person
Online courses first began as a college-level phenomenon but is now becoming mainstream in high schools. A study by the United States Department of Education has found that online learning is just as effective, if not more effective than classroom learning. Arguably, students may learn just as well online, but then, they're not getting any of the social learning that would take place in person.

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