Why do we go to school? Why do we have to learn all that stuff?
I think about these questions all time and there are many stabs at answering it by many people. From the "Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living" to the "To get a goo job, you need a good education", there is a range of philosophical and pragmatic reasons that people use for guidance.
BUT, let's say that we are designing a new system of society and education. Forget for a moment the practicalities of getting into college and other system-based constraints and think about how you could design education. Would you tend towards a system based on this principle:
Learning for Use
It seems to me that this summarizes a philosophy which is a sensible basis for a system. The name has several implications, here are a few of them:
People should know things not for the sake of knowing them but for the purpose of using them. This has implications for how people learn things since learning for recitation is different than learning for application.
People should learning things to support what they intend to do. A kid would wants to be a farmer should of course learn different things that then one who wants to be a fashion designer.
More later but I'm struck by how rarely I have heard this sensible term applied to education. BTW: It's not the whole answer but I do think it's an interesting strand.