An important goal of education is to allow a student to think freely, right? John Holt would claim otherwise in his 1989 essay, “School is Bad for Children,” in which he presents his perspective of school and how it limits the way a student to think. An analysis of “School is Bad for Children” reveals not only that the author’s personal beliefs have an important role in the effectiveness of the work but also that a use of rhetorical elements impacts the author’s message and effectively engages the reader. Not only is Holt an American teacher and an education theorists who taught for many years in elementary and secondary schools, he is also a respected author who wrote books on his philosphies about children’s education. Holt is able to write from his personal experience’s working as a teacher, which makes his theories logical. Appropriately, Holt uses philisophical fiction to write “School is bad for Children” to express his perspective on educational systems and how passionate he feels towards it. Holt yearns to get school educators to understand that rather than helping a student expand their creative thinking, they are sabotaging it by telling the students that they are wrong for their certain thoughts.
The author wants to make clear that a child should not be forced to learn or think a certain way for they should be free to learn and express themselves however they want. Holt’s purpose is to show how the school’s curriculum limits a child’s education and express the idea that children should be learning from real-life experiences. The author aspires to open the eyes of school boards and educators, and show them that they are only impairing the childs mind. Holt intends to reach out to the student’s parents and educators and influence them to choose a different technique when teaching a child. Not every child learns the same so there should not just be one specific way of teaching, the methods should vary. In the period the author wrote “School is Bad for Children” states were putting effort into improving their educational systems and increasing their invesments in schooling. Incresing their funding towards schools, Holt does not favor the states decisions.
By using logos, Holt intends to get his audience to recognize that “learning is a passive process, something that someone else does to you, instead of something you do for yourself” (73). Holt also uses logos when trying to explain that the required curriculum should be abolished because “People remember only what is interesting and useful to them, what helps them make sense of the worls, or helps them get along in it” so by attending school, children are not actually attaining the information being taught. (76).
Due to Holt using logos, his points are valid and strong, which also makes his work effective. Throughout “School is Bad for Children” the author’s personal beliefs have an important role in the effectiveness of the work. The use of rhetorical elements impacts the author’s message and effectively engages the reader. Holt adequatley achieves his purpose and makes his message clear, he makes a vaild argument and shows how passionate he feels about a childs education.
Holt, John. “School is Bad for Children.” The Blair Reader. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. Boston: Pearson, 2014. 69-71. Print.
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