The education system of America has faced severe scrutiny. There have been many who have claimed that the schools of today are nothing but a waste of time and harmful towards youths independence and creativity. They believe that our education system is in need of serious reform and they are wrong. The outspoken, spoiled citizens are giving our nations education system a bad name. It is the very educational system they are scrutinizing, that gave them the resources to formulate such ideas! Where would this nation be without public education? In a dark, chaotic place where no new knowledge is obtainable. Even learning the basics of reading, writing, and arithmatic would require an ungodly amount of effort. Our education system is doing a great job of teaching our nations youth, and anyone who argues otherwise is not grateful for this gift America gives.
Recall what you have learned since starting school, now imagine your life without that. Do you suppose that you would have naturally acquired such information? Daniel Quinn theorizes yes, that all knowledge obtained through school could just as easily be learned from imitation. I couldn’t disagree more. Take reading for example, there are millions of people today, in this country, who are illiterate. Imagine how that number would grow if there were no schools to guide students along the pursuit of comprehending language. Americans would be lost, there would be very little communication amongst the people and our nation would be thrown into complete disarray. Imagine driving on the highway and not being able to read which direction you were going. How would matters be accomplished if it wasn’t for the utilization of language, but how would language be learned if it wasn’t for school? It wouldn’t, or at least not in depth. Materials are learned with more ease when they are being taught. Trying to figure subjects out on ones own can prove to be rather difficult and take much more time than if instructed. Take learning to play the guitar. It’s a lot more efficient to have and instructor guide the student rather than spending multiple hours looking up the tabs and trying to figure it out for them self. It saves time having a more experienced person instruct the pupil and gives them more opportunity to further advance their skill.
Many claim that school strips children of their individuality and creativity, but that isn’t further from the truth. School takes children’s floating potential and molds it into something tangible that can be applied to the real world. School puts words to youths thoughts and gives them the materials needed to express themselves. Teachers ask questions and assign work that prompts the formation of ideas and opinions in youth. Without that guidance, children would not be able to reach their full potential. Even now, I’m fumbling through this essay in an attempt to try and understand a question asked of me by a teacher. This isn’t a topic I would have explored on my own, and I needed the help of the educational system to mold my general knowledge of education into a paper which formulates my opinions.
The educational system teaches children how to interact in a society. School is one large community, in which children discover who they are and where they fit in amongst society. “The lesson of numbered classes is that everyone has a proper place in the pyramid,” (The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher). Children start learning at a young age their place in this world. Most conform, and few rise to positions of leadership. School encourages this by placing children into groups where conformity and limited leadership is required in order to achieve any goal. Take group projects for example. There is the one person who determines what everyone’s job should be, how they should do it, etc. The rest of the group agrees and does their part for fear of failure or upsetting the confident person who asserted themselves to the position of leadership. School separates the leaders from the followers by bringing out specific qualities in students. Conformity is a necessary evil. If there was a world full of independent minds and leaders no task would be accomplished due to the abundance of bickering that would occur.
Without the education system, occupying most of the youths free time, they would be in great danger of harming themselves and others. School provides a safe stable environment for children who may not have such a luxury, “In a world where home is only a ghost, because both parents work, or because of too many moves or too many job changes or too much ambition, or because something else has left everybody too confused to maintain a family relation,”(The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher). School is a home for children who don’t have one. It keeps them off of the street and out of harms way. Administrators instill laws and morals into students with no super-valence, and without said structure, these troubled children would be worse off than they already are. “I teach students they are always watched, that each is under constant surveillance by myself and my colleagues. There are no private spaces for children, there is no private time,”(The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher). And why should there be? The fewer freedoms that immature students possess, the better! The educational system also improves the economy in this sense. You see, with children busy at school they do not have enough time to get a job, and with less people in the job market, there is less competition, more available jobs and an overall better economical rate. Keeping children off the job market is also for their own good. Back in the age of industrialism, children were thrown into harsh working environments where they were treated poorly, barely paid, and many died from work related injury. Overall school is a better place for children to be.
I believe the major frustration in school comes from a feeling of inadequacy that comes from not understanding a concept presented. This is the reason why so many lash out against our education system; they didn’t comprehend a certain subject, they were upset with a grade they received in a class, so instead of looking within themselves to determine the issue they find it easier to place the blame on a third party. The education system has done some tremendous things for this country. Our right to an education is something that makes America such a grand place. We Americans feel entitled and do not truly appreciate how lucky we are. There are countries like Afghanistan where women are shunned from school, or beaten for attempting to learn, and here we are complaining that our education system isn’t as great as we would like it to be. Nothing is perfect, and we need to learn to be grateful for the many blessings we have.