What is the Principal Goal of Your School or Learning Community?

“The principal goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered.”

– Jean Piaget, Education for Democracy, Proceedings from the Cambridge School Conference on Progressive Education

I discovered this quote recently and thought it a superb prompt for discussions about the goals and purposes of our individual learning communities. School communities can find themselves so occupied by the tyranny of the urgent that we forget to pause for thought and conversation about the fundamentals.

What is the purpose of our learning community?

What are our ultimate goals?

How we answer such questions will offer us a much clearer picture of where we to go next. Otherwise, it is easy to find ourselves chasing after (or resisting) each new promising practice and innovation. Or we might fall into the trap of defining our success by how well we comply with outside standards and measures. To what end? Without clarifying our goals and purpose, how will we know if we are going in the right direction?