What is the Purpose of Education?

In today’s society, education is valued to a certain extent. Primary and secondary education is mandated for all by law, ensuring every US citizen goes to school for at least twelve years of their life. However, why is this mandated? What purpose of education is so necessary that we force every individual to learn? Many claim that education is essential for being a citizen of a democracy. Others say education helps prepare individuals to enter the workforce. Still others say that the purpose of education should be to better ourselves.

What we take to be the goal of education is immensely important as it not only affects what we teach, how we teach it, and who we teach it to, but it also affects the very nature of society and the world we live in. So what is the purpose of education? How well does our current education system address that purpose? How can we improve education? What are the challenges involved in educating people?