Against School by John Taylor Gatto

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What is the purpose of the Educational System? Should mankind really be oppressed by the predisposed standards that previous generations have set for the coming ones? Is it logical and fair to give children a set standard of 12 years of school, 6 classes a day, and five days a week? After all, weren’t some of the most successful people throughout history non-graduates of merely secondary schools? According to Gatto’s three-fold purpose of schooling, the main reasons are due to 1) To make good people, 2) To make good citizens, and 3) to make each person his or her best. These three vague expectations of students as a result of the pre-set educational system are actually seen as contradicting the reality of the educational process. Inglis then goes on to break down the schooling process into six basic functions. Three main functions discussed by Gatto are diagnostic and directive functions. Then there is the differentiating function, and finally there is the propaedeutic function. Some of these three functions listed are true and can be related to my own life experiences, however others seem to be merely out of line and completely irrational propositions made by Gatto.

The diagnostic and directive functions are evident in real life. By definition this particular function serves to indicate the students proper social role, as a result of numerical values logged in permanent records. This section of the educational process can be seen in our own districts grading system. Basically, student’s total grades that he or she has earned throughout their 12-year career are all logged into their permanent record, and eventually colleges and universities will see these grades to fit the students into the best to the worst colleges. Also I faintly remember in ninth grade when my teacher Ms. Chiavaro commented to our honors Biology class, about how we were all going to grow up to be surgeons, and big time doctors, seeming to fit us in the top societal roles of society based...
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