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Against School -Humanities .docx

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Chris Bovaird

Churchill - Laiva 1 Ashlee Churchill Professor Petit
 HUMA01 – Tutorial #2 September 20 2012 Education: A Prison of the Mind Much like a parasitic disease of the mind, the education taught in schools is, undeniably, detrimental to the brains of children. Superficially, it is difficult to accept that one’s education does more harm than good. The ability to gain knowledge and allow the brain to burgeon is essential to human growth, but this process does not necessarily take place in a school environment. There are places and people all over the world that are just as important to learn from, such as traveling to different destinations in the world and talking to the people that are living there. First hand experiences and learning from the source itself are of equal, if not greater, value than receiving the knowledge through a mere regurgitation of the works through a vehicle, namely a person who has simply read the same book. The university system has an ideal education process that allows students to expand their minds through a self-teaching method; however, high school education does not prepare the mind for such a simple tasks. As seen in Gatto’s article Against School, the schools education system shelters students by inhibiting their ability to construct their own opinion, to flourish intellectually, and to develop a sense of originality. The high school education system hinders students’ ability to construct their own ideas regarding the information taught. Invisible walls put up by the high school curriculum act as hallways that teachers guide their students’ brains through, telling them what to think and not allowing them to come to their own conclusions. Although Baldwin Churchill -Lavia 2 states in his book, A talk to teachers, that education is designed for people to create their own beliefs, it is difficult to do so when the material being taught is strictly non opinion- biased or taught through the eyes of the teacher. This way of learning is dull and tedious; Gatto plays with this idea of education being boring in his essay and brings up a good point that if anyone is bored it is no one’s fault but your own (Gatto, 1). Gatto’s impression of boredom has to do with the students’ lack of opinion and the teachers’ cycle of repeated material. If students could drive their own opinions and incorporate them into their schoolwork, it would make for an interesting learning experience that both the student and the teacher create together. Nevertheless, most of the time, this not the case and students’ thoughts are often left unheard. One’s view on the content taught is lost as it is imprisoned in the physical and mental walls in which the educational system binds it. High school simply does not do enough to prepare you for what university’s high expectations and demands. When a professor asks their students to write an opinion essay, on the selected quotes and essays presented during the first week of school, the task seems overwhelming. Although the question may appear to be a fair and acceptable request of one’s professor, it can be daunting for a first year student to comply with the instructions. The previous institution that is high school does not help develop the right critical analysis that should be used when asked a basic opinion question. In addition, the topics provided in high school are quite restricted, while those in university explore a much broader spectrum of subjects. Indeed, the education system has, in fact, negatively impacted our creative freedom and thus we are unable to cope with employing such liberties. In university, the student is often the teacher of his own education through the Churchill - Laiva 3 development of his own opinion, which relates to Baldwin’s explanation on the purpose of education. Post- secondary education helps a student realize that he has a voice that matters as opposed to high school education, which puts down opinions that are not taught by the teacher or deemed irrelevant. The concept of generating one’s own outlook seems foreign to students entering university. In Gatto’s article Against School, he refers to H. L. Mencken, who wrote in The American Mercury who said that education is not To fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence . . .. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim ... is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a Standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality (Gatto, 35). Digging deeper into this concept, could this be the reason why the high school and university transition is so difficult? A high
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