Education has long been termed as the universal “key to success”. This is attributed to the fact that it is only through a good education that we equip ourselves with the best skills both mentally and physically so as to yield positive results in our journey for success.
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However, education without direction is not effective and as such, it is of equal importance that one understands their strength and weaknesses in order to balance them so as to achieve the best results in all their endeavors. In his article, “Against School”, Taylor Gatto argues that we should get rid of compulsory schooling. He proposes that students should be left to manage their own learning affairs. To this effect, an analysis of public schools is in order.
Through this discussion, leaning theories in support of public schools shall be mentioned. The factors that contributed positively towards the learning process in public schools shall also be outlined, and those that act as hindrances highlighted. In addition, the advantages of learning from a public school as compared to home schooling shall be conveyed. By critically reviewing these aspects, a logical argument as to why public schools should remain in place and get more support shall be presented.
Arguments for public schools
Getting an education is very important in today’s society. According to Gatto, that does not necessitate the presence of learning institutions. This is because, there are various many avenues through which one can get an education.
However, school settings have been very instrumental in ensuring that students get the best skills that can be applied in the current business environment. Schools provide educational programs consisting of subjects that impart general knowledge and development to the students in terms of rational thinking and intellectual capabilities.
In as much as home schooling may seem appealing to Gatto, it does not consider the impact of interaction and competition to the future of the student. School settings are characterized by peer groups, high competition and are very interactive. From these aspects, students are able learn the value of team work, how to cope in competitive times, how to strategize, apply the available resources to the maximum and how to interact (respect and social ethics) with different people.
In the article, Gatto is convinced that public schools are full of boredom. However the same applies in all educational settings (including home based schooling).
The ability to find something interesting or entertaining depends on an individual. In almost all other subjects the teachers require students to read and write from the textbooks and most of them hate it. Unlike home schooling, public schools offer a variety of subjects for students to choose from. As such, students always have the options to choose subjects that are interactive or those that they prefer.
This is because it provides the students with a valuable combination of learning experiences that constitute to an eternity of intellectual development. This initiative ensures that students are instilled with knowledge on critical thinking, effective communication and at the same time how to interact and perceive human experiences. This helps us understand our responsibilities to ourselves, our peers and the community at large.
According to statistics provided by the government about public schools, students are able to cope with life challenges well than those who underwent home schooling. I under went the same learning procedures as most of my peers. I graduated from high school with a high score and was among the best students in my school.
This was because of the support I received from school. My parents always monitored my performance and at times assisted me where they could. I also participated in sports (soccer) and was a member of the debates club in my school. These activities boost one’s confidence and interactive skills which are pivotal in any area of specialty.
I have come to realize that life in itself is a lesson worth learning from. Every experience that we go through no matter the magnitude, has an impact on our future and can as well change and improve the way we perceive things. From my own experiences, I believe now more than ever that a habit is in deed a disease therefore if you develop a learning culture from an early age it gradually consumes you and become part of you.
This is a trait that I have been proud of and will forever be grateful to those who helped me nature it. It has made me a better person with the ability to analyze and evaluate situations in a bid to make a difference in this world. Arguably, a school setting is one of the most important avenue through which you can experience, experiment, observe and analyze different situations.
Over the years researchers have developed theories and assumptions on how the brain works as per processing information and learning. As a result they have made it possible for teachers to identify and divide students according to their different intellectual capabilities and learning preferences.
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According to Carol S. Dweck, (PhD) people with a fixed mindset often believe in the basic intelligence that they are born with. They often doubt their abilities because their minds cannot perceive beyond what they believe they can manage and as such they lack the motivation to try harder because they are afraid to loose.
On the other hand those with a growth mindset perceive challenges as an opportunity to prove and test their mental capabilities. As human beings we are different in our own special ways and as such we vary in intelligence as well as mannerisms.
Some are slow learners and others fast. When learning in such a diversified environment, students are able to challenge and push themselves to the limits. In addition, those lacking in some attributes are motivated and encouraged by their peers through group discussions and other forms of assistance.
Bandura’s social learning theory proposes that people often acquire their social skills through observation, imitation and modeling. He states that in as much as we acquire intellect through class work, the social skills that we have are learnt from other people. This means that the more people we interact with, the better our social skills.
Public schools are filled with students from different backgrounds and therefore provide a great field to learn how different people behave in various situations. Finally, public schools are operated and managed by rules and procedures. The presence of these rules and procedures help students appreciate and respect organization, planning and discipline. These attributes are of great significance to the successful execution of any job.
Learning is a process that last through our lifetime and has its foundation on socialization. From this discussion, it is evident that public schools are the best places to learn from. What good is an education if it cannot be applied due to social discord? As such, they should be appreciated and supported if we are to have a sane future.