My rewritten philosophy of education, cross posted at my personal blog. Comments welcome.
Schools can and do influence most aspects of their students. To effectively educate students schools must reflect the attitude of the local community and build a vision derived from these values. At the same time not compromising on the needs and expectations of a larger community.
It is the responsibility of the school to teach the curriculum, but more importantly schools must engage students in becoming life-long learners. Schools should be safe places for students to experiment and take chances, to follow their interests, and learn independently beyond the normal scope of the curriculum.
With the curriculum as a concrete foundation to build on, teachers can guide students as individuals in learning the basic skills of deconstructing problems and creating solutions. With patience and care students will learn the skills necessary for independent critical thinking through the standard curriculum.
The ultimate goal of a school is to produce a graduate who is a life-long learner with the ability to think with an open mind and consider different points of view.