Education and Children

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Teaching Our Younger Generation to Succeed
G.K. Chesterton once said, “Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.” A countries education system is one of the core bases it needs to grow, develop and function as a society. Without a strong education system a country will lack what it needs to become a more powerful and stronger country. Our adolescents are the countries future and if they are inadequately educated, the room for growth to become a successful and intellectual adult will diminish within time. The way and what material is being taught to our children and young adults in America today is supported and accepted by most of society and is being funded by billions of dollars from our tax payers. Although some highly educated individuals that have gone through the education system seem to think that there are many problems with the way our children our being taught and the demeanor they are getting out of it. From the essay “A Nation Worth Defending,” William Bennett believes that our school system lacks educating our children about the important facts of American history, and in therefore is ruining patriotism and our knowledge of the real values of America. On the other hand, John Taylor Gatto expressed his views on education in his essay “Against School: How Public Education Cripples Our Kids, and Why,” he believes that our education system is a farce and that it is turning our children into mindless conformists that cannot think for themselves and in return turning our country into immature self-centered consumers. I believe the purpose of education should be to instill our children and young adults with the knowledge they need to succeed in life and the intelligence to strengthen and carry on the core values and ambition of our country. In John Taylor Gatto’s “Against School: How Public Education Cripples Our Kids, and Why,” he believes the education system is brain washing our children into mindless consumers being trapped in the cell-block style of education turning them into servants of the free market system for mass production and mass consumption. The system teaches children to accept their class affiliation and to conform to what they are being taught, (Gatto, 29) acting as an independent and expressing your own thoughts are not accepted if it does not harmonize with society. Gatto wants the system to let the children mature and not stay “children” as they get older, “we have become a nation of children, happy to surrender our judgments and our wills to political exhortations and commercial blandishments that would insult actual adults” (29). He states that children are not encouraged to think for themselves and are being instilled with ideas of greed, envy, jealously, and fear. Gatto doesn’t give much of a solution to this problem but one is to have the children’s parents push the “grown up” material like the history, literature, philosophy, music, art, economics, and theology which Gatto proclaims that the schoolteachers know how to avoid. He believes it is important for children to learn to think for themselves and have their parents be more involved in their life to protect them from being dragged in the black hole of “mindless children” because according to Gatto our children’s genius is being thrown under the ground and not being used. If our children learn how to think for themselves they will develop intellectually, emotionally and spiritually thus conforming into a well-educated insightful adult that can in turn teach their children the same values they learned.

Gatto believes that our children are not getting the tools and resources to become independent and insightful adults. He feels our education system is a conspiracy and the whole purpose is to teach our “mindless” children to be “mindless consumers” and “that left them sitting ducks for another great invention of the modern era- marketing” (29). This may be a very blunt and absurd thing to...
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