Education and Emerson

Good Essays
1. In this essay, Ralph Waldo Emerson describes his view of an ideal education. What are its defining characteristics?
I believe his defining characteristics on his view of an ideal education would have to include the motherly guidance way of education, the teachers working on each student individually and the teachers inspiring the students to think for themselves by giving them encouragement for their thoughts.
2. In what ways is Emerson’s advice appropriate to a child’s first teacher – his or her parents?
Some ways Emerson’s advice is appropriate to a child’s first teacher and his/her parents is the advice of motherly guidance or a guiding hand. A hand that does not punish harshly, rather a hand that encourages a child to do things, not bad things, but encourage a child to think for him/herself, his is some advice that I think Emerson gives out to teachers and parents.
3. Why does Emerson believe “[I]t is better to teach the child arithmetic and Latin grammar than rhetoric or moral philosophy” (para.5)?
Emerson believes that it is better to teach the child arithmetic and Latin grammar because these are things that require exact and correct performance. These things will teach him/her how to learn and why to learn, they will teach him/her the power of performance over knowledge.
4. In what ways does this essay point out the education system’s effect on teachers as well as students?
It shows how the teachers lose their enthusiasm to learn and to teach as more and more students come in and it also shows how students lose their hunger or enthusiasm for learning with the educational system at that time.
5. Why does Emerson criticize schools as bureaucratic institutions (para.10)?
Emerson says that schools drill things in your head, lose sight of what’s important and that they don’t inspire people to become better or be the next star of something like a musician, a poet, a reformer, someone like another genius. Schools don’t have many inventive masters they

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