Everyone has their own opinions on beliefs about school. Many say school is the only way for children to go, and many are against it. John Holt wrote an inspiring story called “School Is Bad for Children” that has an outlook on all aspects of school and why it’s not for children. He elaborates on all points to argue the fact that children shouldn’t have to make life harder by going to school. Holt indicates certain points, but ones that stick out are the compulsory attendance policy and how it affects the child. Also, why we shouldn’t have grades and exams and lastly, teachers and their poor pedagogy.
The compulsory school attendance protected the children’s right to school under the parents’ permission; unless the parents decide to exploit their labor. Holt states that the compulsory attendance policy commands children to go to school. If children are forced to go to school than there is a better chance they won’t like going. But, if the child had the option to go to school whenever they want, there us a better chance of them going; this being because school is where children meet new friends and communicate with others.
And children need communication to get through life, like any other average person. Pedagogy is the art of the education and how a teacher conducts their class. Holt believes that poor pedagogy is another reason why school is bad for children. The art and styling of a teacher determines what the child will get and take out of the class. Many students are visual learners and some are auditory. Also, students are categorized between passive learners and active learners. Passive learners do what they need to, to pass the class and don’t take in any of the information that is being distributed to them.
But, active learners enjoy their time in class and engage in the lesson of the day. Teachers need to take it upon themselves to make the class interesting and vibrant for all students. They always said “two heads are better than one”. Holt feels as if children work better in groups and collaborative work. It makes everything in their school experience and life a little easier. Letting them work together and help each other out, they can help each other fix their mistakes. He explains how children are often the best teachers of other children.
Letting children judge their own work gives them a sense of how much they can handle. According to Holt, if a child is corrected too many times, he will shut down and not speak at all. Correcting a student over and over again begins to make them feel like being wrong, uncertain and confused is a crime. He feels that a child should learn on his or her own but with the help of other children his age. If the child is stuck and just can’t get the answer right and needs help then that is when we lend a helping hand. Helping a child too much can also lead to them depending on someone to give them the answer.
They won’t know the right answer and they’ll wait for the teacher or the expert to give them right answer. Holt has given up ideas on why the right way isn’t always the right thing to do. He wants to correct the school curriculum. He shows that education back in the day is different than education now. Although students need education, we’re going about it all wrong. Children need to learn physically and mentally and not always with the help of an expert. Children need to work together to become more advance and progress.
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Topic: Compulsory education
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