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Critical reading response - Essay Example

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Name Subject Professor Date School is Bad for Children John Holt, in his article entitled “School is Bad for Children,” discusses how the traditional education system does not aid in truly educating children. Holt declares that upon entering school, the inherent learning drive of kids is diminished at a great level…
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Critical reading response
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Download file to see previous pages He offers three possible solutions for these issues. He states that mandatory attendance should be abolished and replaced with policies allowing kids to attend classes only when they want to. He also suggests removing children from schools, declaring them to be prisons where learning is limited. Additionally, he views that abolishing the curriculum is also a possible solution because people merely remember what they believe is interesting and useful to them. In order to assess the veracity or, at least, appropriateness of Holt’s claims, the major points of his article will be analyzed. First, Holt states that learning is inherent in every human, and that babies learn the basics of living and survival from the day they are born. Without any formal instruction, kids learn to communicate and interact with people around them. They learn through discovery, association, application, and mistakes (Holt, “School is Bad for Children”). This is a very strong point. Yes we should acknowledge that school provides specialized information of some subject matters, but it does not mean that learning the same is impossible outside school. To prove this, one can simply look at the greatest minds in man’s history like Albert Einstein, Blaise Pascal, Pierre Curie, the Wright brothers, Thomas Alva Edison, and Alexander Graham Bell. These great minds did not acquire their knowledge from traditional schools because they were all home-schooled (McKee 16). Therefore, with the undeniable inherent ability of man to learn coupled with proven achievements of those that never went to school, it is easy to agree with Holt on this matter. Another statement made by Holt is that school environment encourages passive learning, thereby decreasing the utilization of man’s inherent ability to learn through active discovery, association, application, and mistakes. It also encourages the thinking that to be wrong is a crime, and to be right is the only acceptable thing. In school, students are dictated by the experts on what is important, what they need, and what they should do. Technically, everything is spoon-fed (Holt, “School is Bad for Children”). Holt is not exaggerating when he states school teaches kids to do something only if they are forced, bribed, or deceived, since school rewards excellence and correctness. Despite the idea that teachers encourage children to analyze and ask, at the end of the day, they still follow a pre-set standard of what is correct and incorrect. Knowing the correct and universally accepted answer is the only way to pass, and passing is the only way to move forward. These standards place children in categories --- stupid, average, or brilliant (McKee 21). Moreover, it gives a false idea that learning and living are separate things that cannot merge together. The live outside the school, and learn inside with the experts. It reinforces the belief that children cannot be trusted to learn on their own --- they need experts to tell them what they should know to be considered knowledgeable and learned (Holt, “School is Bad for Children”). Holt again presents unquestionably strong arguments on this matter. Everyone who experienced school can relate to a great chunk of Holt’s standpoints. Another controversial statement is Holt’s declaration that schools shut kids’ brains and lead them to vices, particularly drugs. Several people may react negatively ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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