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What is the purpose of teaching in society? This is a question that agitates all stakeholders in the sector of education ranging from statesmen to teachers and scholars. In most developed countries including the United States, the purpose of teaching has historically been evolving in accordance to the needs of the society. The primary purpose of teaching has varied from instructing young people in religious doctrine, to assimilating both immigrants and natives into the mainstream society, to preparing workers to function effectively in the industrialized workplace during the 20th century. As teachers prepare their students for their futures in this present age and the rapid changes that characterize it, it is vital to investigate the purpose of teaching.

There are different reasons for which different societies have created the kind of education systems that they have. Moreover, each society has its own different points of view on the importance of education. Teaching plays an important role in the lives of children especially during their formative years of development. According to Ornstein, Levine, Gutek, and Vocke (2014), teaching helps to relate education to the natural growth and development of children. Moreover, education systems help to establish a learning environment that permits the innate natural goodness of children to flourish, thereby contributing to the establishment of peace and understanding within society. Furthermore, various education systems have been established with a view of developing the moral, physical, and mental well-being of human beings. By developing their ability to apply sense perceptions and create clear ideas, teaching promotes harmonious living within a society. Teaching contributes significantly to the growth of a person either socially or intellectually. Additionally, education systems empower individuals and lay the foundation for them to live effectively both economically and scientifically. It is evident that different societies view the purpose of teaching differently. Despite this, the common theme that emerges in all these different perspectives is that teaching plays an important role in supporting children develop their skills in addition to dispositions and knowledge required for them to become responsible, law-abiding, and contributing members of the society. Through education and teaching, it is expected that a child will be a good friend, able to work, function as a good workmate, and contribute significantly to the society’s well-being.What is the purpose of teaching in society

Different societies have had different approaches to educating students. In the US for instance, teaching was purely information-based before the Second World War. In the years that followed, the purpose of teaching shifted to achieving social development. During the Cold era, however, the education system in America shifted back to information-based teaching and learning. The curricula that guide the education system in America continue to undergo frequent changes especially with the implementation of new policies. According to Tan, Liu, and Low (20170 similar evolutions have taken place in Singapore’s education system.

In this country, the main responsibility of teachers is helping their students gain an in-depth understanding of information that is already in existence. Moreover, they are required to help their students come up with better ways of putting this information to use. To achieve this purpose, an emphasis is given to the pedagogical knowledge that teachers possess. Teachers are required to have strong content that they will use to promote thinking among their students and facilitate learning by helping their students obtain information and evaluate and synthesize it so that in the end, they can contribute to information and knowledge generation. According to Tan, Liu, and Low (2017), Singapore is increasingly using new tools including digital technologies for the sole purpose of facilitating learning and teaching. Different societies are giving more emphasis on incorporating different cultures and languages in teaching given that there has been an ever-increasing need for individuals to work in a globalized world. Moreover, globalization has made different societies realize the need to understand and respect diversity when educating students.




Ornstein, A. C., Levine, D. U., Gutek, G. L., & Vocke, D. E. (2014). Foundations of education (Twelfth edition.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning

Tan, O. S., Liu, W. C., & Low, E. L. (Eds.). (2017). Teacher education in the 21st century: Singapore’s evolution and innovation. Springer.