Education is the process by which an individual gains knowledge and insight, or develops attitudes and skills. Its function is both social and individual. Its social function is to help each individual become a more effective member of society by passing along to him the collective experiences of the past and the present. Its individual function is to enable him to lead a more satisfying and productive life by preparing him to handle new experiences successfully. It is an agent of social change.
Education is vital to our collective survival. It continues to stress the value of our democratic heritage, offering these values as a dynamic model in a troubled world. It shows us how to use our natural resources, and how to conserve what we have left. It provides us with people of vision who can utilize the lessens of the past and who can lead through the imaginative insights which spring from creative minds. It gives a sense of values which will foster humanistic ideals to compliment those which are materialistic. Education is no less vital to the self-realization of the individual. It provides him the opportunity to become critical and creative ; to become aware of the potential of learning and of self; and to become a participating member of his society in a way which is most satisfying to him.
The school should offer the individual all possible help in improving physical and mental health, and in developing ethical standards. By understanding the environmental factors which affect him, he becomes more able to modify them to his own advantage. By understanding some of the intricacies of human behavior and relationships, he becomes more able to develop a healthy concept of self. By mastering certain skills and knowledge, he becomes more able to sustain himself in the changing world which awaits him.
The school should provide personnel who are compassionate in nature; who impart security and moral stature by their very presence. It should provide methods and organizational patterns which contain high motivational possibility: methods which will encourage search and hypothesis, observation and evaluations; organization which will permit continuous progress and maximum interest for each individual.