Chris Lehmann at Practical Theory takes on the idea that schools are preparing a 21st century workforce. It would be better to start with the premise, he says, that we teach because we care about our students, and not imply “that education is something we do to kids in service of the larger need of society – and a market economy."
Instead, if we talk about schools that help students become 21st Century citizens, we can speak to their need to be engaged and involved in their entire world. We can talk about how our hope for them to find their place in our society, not just as worker but as person. That rhetoric, to me, speaks to a transaction of care, because it aspires to help students find a rich and meaningful life while also teaching the need to be part of the larger society in powerful ways.