Jatin Mudaliar Professor: Lark Omura English Composition 101 Date – 9/24/2018 Why are we obligated to School?Why are schools so important in our lives? John Taylor Gatto believes that we do not require schools to educate ourselves. In the article ‘Against School’ John Taylor Gatto appeals to his audience that the compulsory schooling system is unnecessary. He criticizes the education system by emphasizing on the negative impacts of schools. He shares his personal experiences and refers to high profile individuals to strengthen his argument. The Author begins his argument by mentioning the fact that he taught for thirty years. He had plenty of experience as a teacher.
He explains that students in his class lacked interest. When asked why so, the students replied by saying that they did not feel that the class would be any useful for them in life. They felt like that teachers just taught from the book. The writer describes this feeling of students as “Boredom”. This boredom can be described as lack of interest towards the study material, low energy, dispirited spirits and whining all the time.
When the teachers were asked about this condition of students, they blamed the kids on the contrary. The author claims that the teachers are themselves the products of “The twelve-year education Program”.Due to this experience felt by the author, He wanted to bring a positive change in the education system. On his effort to bring a change, He faced various difficulties.
On Page number 1, the writer quoted, “I once returned from a medical leave to discover that all evidence of my having been granted the leave had been purposely destroyed, that my job been terminated, and that I no longer possessed even a teaching license”. The author’s license was cancelled, and he almost lost his job. The author experiences these consequences because of his effort to bring an optimistic change. (Page 1 towards the end and page 2 beginning) “By introducing kids to Truly competent adults”. This means that knowledgeable teachers should be hired so that the children get inspired by them.Gatto then argues by saying “do we need school?”. He feels that the long twelve years of education is just a forced schooling.
The long hours of schools are just too much to handle. The schools just teach basic writing, reading and arithmetic during these 12 years. Gatto reinforces his argument by providing the example of 2 million homeschoolers.
He also provides examples of great individuals who did not “graduate” but still succeeded in their lives. The word “success” does not depend on schools whereas it depends intellectual abilities and knowledge which one possesses. The main objectives for the establishment of the schools are to make good people, good citizens and to make sure that every individual is brought to his or her personal best. According to Gatto, Nowadays, Schools fail to achieve these objectives. In this article, Gatto states that the education system that we adopt today is originated from Prussia. The Prussian education system is “An educational system deliberately designed to produce mediocre intellects, to hamstring the inner life, to deny students leadership skills- all in order to render the populace “manageable”.The author uses the example of James Bryant Conant in his text to add support to support his argument. He also uses the example of renowned author Alexander Inglis who shares similar beliefs on the education system.
Alexander Inglis breaks down the actual process of schooling into six roles. These six roles include fixed habits of reaction to authority, to make children similar, judging a student’s social role by his mathematical records, To differentiate their functions based on their social roles, etc. The Author uses these evidences to provide further support to his argument. The author believes that because of the poor education provided to us, “we have become a nation of children happy to surrender our judgments and our wills to political exhortations and commercial blandishments that would insult actual adults” (page 4). Gatto believes that the we should teach our children ourselves rather than depending on any educational institute. Children should be encouraged to be their actual selves.
They should not transform themselves just because the schools want them to be that way. Gatto concludes by saying, “We only suppress our genius because we haven’t yet figured out how to manage of ourselves”. (Page 5). Hence, the author believes that the solution to this problem is to learn how to manage ourselves.On my honor, I have neither received nor given any unauthorized assistance on this assignment.