Subject 13 June 2011 Education is not Ingesting Encapsulated Information Education has a function of bringing out the creativity in children rather than feeding them encapsulated information. The conservative notions that some academicians and school authorities in the US harbor have relegated primary and secondary education in the country to a mere exercise of ingesting information…
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In this context, the article, “Why America’s Universities are Better Than its Schools,” by E D Hirsh Jr. becomes significant to the US education system in the present day. The author contends that the K-12 system suffers due to the reason that “intellectual orthodoxy” controls it whereas public colleges and universities, which are free from the control of “educationist point of view” are functioning better, which is a fact that “international community” acknowledges (Hirsch 144). My own experience as a student makes me see what the author means. I have encountered several situations when my sense of curiosity has often been dampened by a cold stare from my tutor who wants me just to study what is being “taught” in the class. The author chooses a topic which gains high significance in the present day society. Our country boasts of development in all facets of life but, unfortunately, we ignore some of the crucial factors, which can jeopardize the future of upcoming generations. Education is a key element in a person’s life and to groom our children into responsible citizens, we must provide them with appropriate learning facilities and environment. Hirsch, through this article, strikes home this point with clarity, precision and impact. Relevance of the topic aside, more important is the manner in which he accomplishes this mission. He wastes no time or effort in foreshadowing the subject matter and takes a straightforward plunge into the core of it. The simplicity, directness and panache with which he does this draw the reader immediately into the heart of the problem. The author deploys with deftness, the device of rhetoric in the article, for the purpose of persuading his audience and conveys the message strongly to convince them. In the outset, Hirsch states the problem with the K-12 system due to its being controlled by orthodox philosophy and contrasts it with the university education system which eschews the educationalist approach and has received international acclaim. The author, then, explains that it is easier to “create a good K-12 system than a good university system” as can be evidenced from the fact that even under developed countries have good public schools (Hirsch 144 Para 2). Referring to the American tradition of “free speech and consequent toleration,” the author emphasizes on the significance of “open discussion and iconoclasm” in providing an environment where “intellectual excellence can flourish,” which the school systems seem to miss (Hirsch 144 Para 3). Besides, according to him, the elements of “openness and competitiveness distinguish colleges and universities,” and they place “great value on depth, breadth and accuracy of knowledge and independence of thought,” which are the key ingredients of objective learning that schools lack (Hirsch 144 Para 4). Moreover, Hirsch believes that schools rely on “banking theory of schooling” based on “rote learning,” which deprives them of quality. The author draws attention to the steep decline by 75% in the number of students in college entrance tests who score above 650 in verbal and math. This figure acts as the pointer to the deterioration in the quality of school education. He makes another allusion to the high percentage of foreign students coming to US and quotes the
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