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So, What's the Purpose of Education?

It's taken thirty years but we think we've nailed it

'What's it all about, Alfie?'

Cilla Black


It's taken a while but I think we've finally nailed why we're all doing what we're doing in education.

Yes, it's about exam results and keeping the inspectors off our backs and making sure the parents are happy and keeping young people from frightening the horses.

But there is something more fundamental at play here. 

And simpler.

Ultimately, education has one job.

To make things better.

That's it.

Better individuals.

Better communities.

Better societies.

Better relationships.

Better opportunities.

Better thinking.

Better health.

Better wealth.

Better happiness.

Better environment.

Better planet.

Just better.

If the education our children are receiving is designed to keep things the same, then perhaps it's not an education in the true sense of the word.

After all, we know from evolutionary science that what doesn't change dies.

However, if the education they are receiving helps young people understand the part they can play in improving things – and supports them as they do just that – then count us in.

For better or for worse.

To find out more about booking Ian Gilbert for your school, college or organisation call us on 01267 211432 or drop us an email on

About the author

Ian Gilbert

Ian Gilbert is an award-winning writer, editor, speaker, innovator and the founder of Independent Thinking. He has lived and worked in Europe, the Middle East, South America and Asia and is privileged to have such a global view of education and education systems.

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