Is School Really Necessary?

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Jessica Calles

English 1101x

Dr. Rieman

April 7, 2010

Is School really necessary?

All throughout my educational career I had never taken the time to reflect on what school really meant to me and if school was made optional would I still attend? After reading the essay “Against School,” by John Taylor Gatto a series of questions began to arise in my head. Is school really that necessary? Is it really the only way for a person to be successful in life? According to John Taylor Gatto schools are nothing but merely “laboratories of experimentation on young minds, drill centers for the habits and attitudes that corporate society demands (38).” After reading Gatto’s essay I must say I agree. The educational school system in the U.S trains children to be employees and consumers; it limits their amount of creativity as well as individuality, and prolongs their childhood.

We all know that knowledge is power and the more you know the better chance you have in succeeding everything you encounter, but sitting in a classroom five days a week with a highly structured system of learning is not the only way to gain that knowledge. According to Gatto, being educated and schooled are two very different things. You must attend a secondary school in order to be schooled with the goal of graduating and therefore become “educated.” However, life outside of the four walls schools like to label as “classrooms” can teach you the same lesson you learn in class but with more meaning and purpose to the student. Gatto provides examples such as Thomas Jefferson and Carnegie and Rockefeller who were indeed very educated and knowledgeable people, yet they never actually graduated form a secondary school.School is a routine that consists of six classes a day, five days a week for twelve years. Children as well as teachers go through this same routine day after day. After a prolonged period of time teachers as well as students become “bored” and eventually lose focus. As...
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