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The Ultimate Goals of Education

Findley, Warren G.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Educational Objectives, Objectives, Organizational Objectives


This paper presents a framework to show how comprehensive the ultimate goals of education need to be and spells out in some detail what a number of these ultimate goals imply for school practice. The ultimate goals are grouped under seven main headings: 1) general intellectual competencies, including the "three R's" and the "Three S's" (Science and social studies); 2) specialized competence appropriate to a vocation or profession; 3) skill and satisfaction in working with others in a group toward a common objective; 4) skill and satisfaction in home and family living; 5) constructive leisure activities, an appetite for recreation, aesthetic satisfactions; 6) health and strength of body; and 7) a unified view of the self in the universe. The crucial characteristic of all these ultimate goals is that they are all behavioral. Each of these goals, especially the first, is considered individually and specific proposals to improve classroom education are presented. The author suggests that thinking about and evaluating ultimate education goals is essential to the work of good test-makers, school guidance people, and education policy planners. He also urges administration of "a comprehensive achievement measure annually to all young people of a particular age, say eighteen," and notes that schooling should not be viewed as merely preparation for life, but as an integral part of it. Paper presented at Conference on Social Issues Affecting Guidance, George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, June 18, 1954.

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