“Against School” is an argumentative essay that tells about how the public education system incapacitates the children of today. It was written by John Taylor Gatto. In this reading, Gatto claims that the public education system causes children to become bored with themselves, to conform to the way of the school and its teachers, and it causes them to lack the ability to deal with issues that go on in the real world, outside of school. Gatto’s explanation for this is that it is partially the teachers’ fault. The students become bored because the teacher is actually bored with teaching the subject. Students would be adamant to learn if they were given and education and not a “schooling”. They need to be encouraged to have the qualities to succeed in life instead of sitting in a prison style confinement, forced to learn material that society deemed appropriate. Summing up his essay, Gatto states that he believes that the students should be able to manage themselves.
After reading Gatto’s argument, my only reaction was to agree with him. I believe that the public education system only influences us to conform to society and the government. We’re only taught what they want us to be taught. To me, students need more than that. They need the skills to not only succeed but to survive and to keep on succeeding throughout life. The material needs to be taught and explained how retaining the knowledge will help them in the future. If we don’t know how it will benefit us in some way then it’s almost meaningful. There’s no reason to remember it. In conclusion, I agree with Gatto’s argument because I think it is something most students can relate to. We’ve all had a boring teacher, teaching a boring class, that we thought meant absolutely nothing to us. But if we’re forced to take the class, then there must be some reason for it.
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