Importance of Education

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Recently, John Taylor Gatto published an article titled “Against School” in the Harper’s Magazine, which argues that students should not go to school to receive education. It seems that Gatto’s article is influenced by the following factors. There’s one case about a woman who teaches her children at home and she was taken to court because she didn’t report her curriculum to the government. This case can explain Gatto’s opinion that the system restricts not only students but also teachers. Meanwhile, it proves that people can be well educated in other ways instead of going to school. George W. Bush proposed the action of “No Child Left Behind” to enhance students’ ability of reading, math and science is lopsided. This policy can only improve students’ academic ability rather than their other abilities. The author thinks that the education system confines teachers to their way of teaching. He mentions that he tried to defy custom but the “the empire struck back” (Gatto, 33). The system doesn’t allow anyone to disobey it. It just wants to conform everyone no matter if you teach or study at school or at home. In the case of Mary Foley, she teaches her children at home and her method proved to be successful. Her daughter had received a full scholarship to the University of Massachusetts at Amberst. She uses her own way to teach her children. She is that kind of teacher who Gatto thinks should be formed. However, she was taken to court by the local school superintendent just because she refused to report what she is teaching at home. “The priorities of our curriculum are daydreaming, natural and social sciences, self-discipline, respect of self and others, and making mistakes” (Gatto, 164). Although the government allows people to receive education at home, it forces the educators to report their curriculum. In other words, it still wants to regulate what children learn no matter where they learn. Mary Foley’s way to teach her children is niche targeting. She knows her...
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