Christopher Backham

A portrait of Christopher Backham. Contributed by Christopher Backham.

A Morehead State professor has published an article about how education can affect the quality of life. 

Christopher Backham, an MSU education professor, published an article called “Beyond College and Career Readiness: Educations Broader Purposes” in the peer-reviewed journal “Critical Questions in Education.” Beckham’s article describes education as having more than one purpose and should be looked at on a broader scale.

“I got really interested with thinking about that question of the purpose of education as far as how it affects our lives outside of the world of work and how our education equips us to live a meaningful, flourishing, happy life,” said Beckham

While studying the subject he found that humans have been pondering this question for thousands of years and each had a different take on the subject.

“Martin Luther King Jr. wrote an editorial to his campus newspaper that said, ‘The purpose of education is to build up our intellect but also to help shape our character.’ In other words, we can have our minds filled with knowledge and facts, but that's not the extent of our existence,” said Beckham. “We have relationships in the world and we relate to other people, so there needs to be an aspect of our education that forms our character as well.”

Beckham published this article hoping other educators would also see there is more than just being career ready. He wants us all to think about the question, what is the purpose of education. 

“I hope that educators and teacher educators read that article and think about how they want to frame a purpose for education,” said Beckham. “Of course any part of a good education is going to include preparing us for our own future and I think learning how to get a good job that we find rewarding and satisfying and hopefully pay us a living wage is certainly an important part of living a good life.”