By the time I finally retired in 1991, I had more than enough reason to think of our schools - with their long-term, cell-block-style, forced confinement of both improve education system essay students and teachers - as virtual factories of childishness. In fact, until pretty recently people who reached the age of thirteen weren't looked upon as children at all. We have, for example, the great. Easy divorce laws have removed the need to work at relationships; easy credit has removed the need for fiscal self-control; easy entertainment has removed the need to learn to entertain oneself; easy answers have removed the need to ask questions. Mass schooling of a compulsory nature really got its teeth into the United States between 19, though it was conceived of much earlier and pushed for throughout most of the nineteenth century. We suppress our genius only because we haven't yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. Inglis, for whom a lecture in education at Harvard is named, makes it perfectly clear that compulsory schooling on this continent was intended to be just what it had been for Prussia in the 1820s: a fifth column into the burgeoning. Men like George Peabody, who funded the cause of mandatory schooling throughout the South, surely understood that the Prussian system was useful in creating not only a harmless electorate and a servile labor force but also a virtual herd of mindless consumers. This same Cubberley - who was dean of Stanford's School of Education, a textbook editor at Houghton Mifflin, and Conant's friend and correspondent at Harvard - had written the following in the 1922 edition of his book Public School Administration : "Our schools are. With the intensive one-to-one attention a child receives from their parents and the opportunity this provides for specific concentration on the childs interests and weaknesses, it is unsurprising that studies show home schooled students perform significantly higher than their peers in standardised tests.
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Once their social role has been "diagnosed children are to be sorted by role and trained only so far as their destination in the social machine merits - and not one step further. The obligation to amuse and instruct myself was entirely my own, and people who didn't know that were childish people, to be avoided if possible. We buy 150 sneakers whether we need them or not, and when they fall apart too soon we buy another pair. Let them manage themselves). The potential for social problems and difficulty integrating into society is enormous, though home schooling parents argue that their child receives a great deal of interaction with other children, and more adult attention and conversation than many children in full-time education receive. Shortly after I retired from teaching I picked up Conant's 1959 book-length essay, The Child the Parent and the State, and was more than a little intrigued to see him mention in passing that the modern schools we attend were the. But we are dead wrong. Mandatory schooling was a godsend on that count. 3) To make each person his or her personal best.
In time a great number of industrial titans came to recognize the enormous profits to be had by cultivating and tending just such a herd via public education, among them Andrew Carnegie and John. This, of course, precludes critical judgment completely. Local Education Authorities have the right to request an annual written report on how a child is being educated and a writing sample, but they have no right to meet the child or visit the home and no formal. To that end, a small fraction of the kids will quietly be taught how to manage this continuing project, how to watch over and control a population deliberately dumbed down and declawed in order that government might proceed unchallenged and. Once you understand the logic behind modern schooling, its tricks and traps are fairly easy to avoid. And although he was certainly aware of the irony that we had recently been at war with Germany, the heir to Prussian thought and culture, Mencken was being perfectly serious here. There were vast fortunes to be made, after all, in an economy based on mass production and organized to favor the large corporation rather than the small business or the family farm. William James alluded to it many times at the turn of the century. But mass production required mass consumption, and at the turn of the twentieth century most Americans considered it both unnatural and unwise to buy things they didn't actually need. With the governments violent shake-up of education at all levels and the emphasis on free schools being run by parents with no educational experience necessary, they might just be right.
Don't let your own have their childhoods extended, not improve education system essay even for a day. 2) The integrating function. Current estimates put the number of home schooled children in the UK between 50,000 and 80,000, but statistics obtained by Channel 4 from Local Education Authorities confirmed that in most areas the practice is on the rise. Without Conant, we would probably not have the same style and degree of standardized testing that we enjoy today, nor would we be blessed with gargantuan high schools that warehouse 2,000 to 4,000 students at a time, like the famous Columbine High in Littleton, Colorado. School trains children to obey reflexively; teach your own to think critically and independently.
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School didn't have to train kids in any direct sense to think they should consume nonstop, because it did something even better: it encouraged them not to think at all. Ariel Durant, who co-wrote an enormous, and very good, multivolume history of the world with her husband, Will, was happily married at fifteen, and who could reasonably claim that Ariel Durant was an uneducated person? But what are improve education system essay the disadvantages of being kept out of mainstream schools? That Prussian culture loomed large in America is hardly surprising, given our early association with that utopian state. For the most part, however, I found it futile to challenge the official notion that boredom and childishness were the natural state of affairs in the classroom. Who wouldn't get bored teaching students who are rude and interested only in grades? His article, however, goes on to trace the template for our own educational system back to the now vanished, though never to be forgotten, military state of Prussia. That, unfortunately, is the purpose of mandatory public education in this country. What if they are the way they are, so expensively flying in the face of common sense and long experience in how children learn things, not because they are doing something wrong but because they are doing something right?
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I don't mean education, just forced schooling: six classes a day, five days a week, nine months a year, for twelve years. We don't need Karl Marx's conception of a grand warfare between the classes to see that it is in the interest of complex management, economic or political, to dumb people down, to demoralize them, to divide them. Yet I honestly could not see why they had to be that way. I t was from James Bryant Conant - president of Harvard for twenty years, WWI poison-gas specialist, wwii executive on the atomic-bomb project, high commissioner of the American zone in Germany after wwii, and truly one of the most influential. The reason given for this enormous upheaval of family life and cultural traditions was, roughly speaking, threefold: 1) To make good people. Is this deadly routine really necessary? There are fears that home schooled children may find it much harder to share and interact with others when they mature, having never experienced team games or a classroom or playground environment, and that they may be more reluctant. Parents who choose to home school their children cite many reasons, with the most popular being a genuine belief that they can give their child a better education at home than they would receive at school. When asked why they feel bored, the teachers tend to blame the kids, as you might expect. And, worst of all, we don't bat an eye when Ari Fleischer tells us to "be careful what you say even if we remember having been told somewhere back in school that America is the land of the free. We have been taught (that is, schooled) in this country to think of "success" as synonymous with, or at least dependent upon, "schooling but historically that isn't true in either an intellectual or a financial sense.
Class may frame the proposition, as when Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton University, said the following to the New York City School Teachers Association in 1909: "We want one class of persons to have a liberal education. Inglis knew that if children could be cloistered with other children, stripped of responsibility and independence, encouraged to develop only the trivializing emotions of greed, envy, jealousy, and fear, they would grow older but never truly grow. Orestes Brownson, the hero of Christopher Lasch's 1991 book, The True and Only Heaven, was publicly denouncing the Prussianization of American schools back in the 1840s. These goals are still trotted out today on a regular basis, and most of us accept them in one form or another as a decent definition of public education's mission, however short schools actually fall in achieving them. 6) The propaedeutic function. He told me that I was never to use that term in his presence again, that if I was bored it was my fault and no one else's.
2) To make good citizens. Well-schooled kids have a low threshold for boredom; help your own to develop an inner life so that they'll never be bored. Horace Mann's "Seventh Annual Report" to the Massachusetts State Board of Education in 1843 is essentially a paean to the land of Frederick the Great and a call for its schooling to be brought here. Perhaps most importantly of all, 59 of home schooled adults reported that they were very happy with their lives compared to just 28 of the general US population. So much for making kids their personal best. And the kids were right: their teachers were every bit as bored as they were. Even if they hadn't, a considerable number of well-known Americans never went through the twelve-year wringer our kids currently go through, and they turned out all right. They were more engaged and active in politics too, with 76 using their vote compared to just 29 of the corresponding US populace.