The perspective of life spheres
In the discourse of the philosophy of education, the aims of education are generally 1) Knowledge for knowledge’s sake (education is the process of initiation into intrinsically worthwhile activities, or those activities which one might engage in for their own sake); 2) Education and preparation for work (the whole point of education is often seen as a means to the obtaining of qualifications leading to paid employment); and 3) Education for well-being (there are at least aspects: happiness, desire-satisfaction, and having the capacity and opportunity to live autonomously as a moral being) (Marples, 2010). However, in the contemporary international community, general education should be a moral and social education appropriate to the fostering of the skills and dispositions associated with participatory democracy.
Therefore, the quality of general education needs to be seen in relation to its value for the five different life spheres of modern societies. Every individual lives in five inter-related spheres, namely:
-The life in the personal existential sphere ‐ as a self‐conscious, authentic and autonomous human being;
-The life with family, friends and others in the private and civic sphere ‐ as a fellow human being;
-The life in civil society and the public sphere ‐ as active citizen;
- The working life ‐ as an employee, a member of a union, or an employer; and
-The life in a learning society – as a lifelong leaner.
Therefore, the purpose of general education is about promoting the development of knowledge and competences that will enable each individual to adapt to the knowledge-based society and actively participate in all spheres of social and economic life, taking more control of his or her future.
Source: Marples, R. 2010. The Aims of Education. International Encyclopaedia of Education. 3rd Edition. London: ELSEVIER.