How Education Has Changed Over Time

Categories: Catcher In The Rye

The culture of education around the world has evolved through time and has shaped how school systems are developed today. In The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, Holden fights against the education system while trying to discover himself as a person. Another piece of work called The Class is an autobiographical film directed by Laurent Cantet that investigates the relationships between teachers and students in the classroom and what society urges them to be. By examining both The Catcher in the Rye and The Class, it can be argued that contemporary education systems have been tainted by government control and power, and in turn, have affected the way students learn.

According to Holden Caulfield, institutional education only teaches students how to be phony and he rebels against it. However, the relationships he forms with other teachers give him a different perspective on education and the value of learning. In The Class, there is an obvious power struggle between the teacher and his students, avoiding many of the cliches that are usually found in films.

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It examines the interactions between students and teachers in this current era and explores many aspects of the French education system. The pieces work together to demonstrate how education has changed through time and has left students in the hands of superior powers.

Education in America during the 1950s was largely focused on school integration. Black students began to petition for equal admissions and more equal rights in schools. At the same time, as baby boomers began to reach school age, there were more inadequate classrooms, teacher shortages, and decreasing school expenditures.

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During the decade, the content of the curriculum changed drastically to accommodate the increasing class size. Progressive-minded educators concentrated more on a student's emotional, physical, and mental development, at the expense of developing basic skills such as reading, writing, and mathematics. In the post-war decade, boarding schools in the United States were used for different purposes, some of which are no longer in use today. During this period, boarding schools were very popular for wealthy families who would send their kids to a school near home or near a big city. In the 1950s, attending prep school was a status symbol for young men. With peace among the nation during this time, parents were looking ahead to a successful future for their sons. Upper-middle-class families could join the elites by sending their children, mostly their boys, to a prep school. Boys went to prep schools in the 50s to get into the best colleges anwithind to become great leaders and captains of industry. principal  with

In The Catcher in the Rye, in particular, Holden was sent off to Pencey Prep, a boarding school not too far from New York City. At the beginning of the novel, it is mentioned that he was expelled from the school because he was not applying himself to the content and was failing almost every class except for English. This was the one subject in school that he truly enjoyed thoroughly and even excelled in. This may be the case because when he was expressing his thoughts about a topic that he found interest in, it came naturally to him. It seems as though he may be more intelligent than he perceives to be at first glance. When examining his character more closely, one can see his true knack for reading and writing. When he writes about his younger brother’s baseball mitt, for instance, the reader can see how easily his words flow without much effort on his part. The only problem, though, is that he despises formal education of any kind. To him, the education system is nothing more than teaching kids how to make money and to live a life in an office one day, so it is essentially phony as well. movie emotionally with offer

Two teachers of Holden's who help shape his vie principal on education are Mr. Spencer and Mr. Antolini. Holden, at the moment, does not appreciate the help that they are trying to give him to put his life on track. He is told by his principal about “Life being a game and all. And how you should play it according to the rules” (Salinger 11). This metaphor demonstrates the beliefs of society in which there is a strict way you should behave and act, but Holden sees it as a game only made for hot-shots. He was told by a superior figure to abide by certain rules in this world, however, Holden feels uncomfortable withprincip this idea. His history teacher from Pencey Prep, Mr. Spencer, is first introduced at the beginning of the novel when Holden goesadviceyouto see him. He provides a sense of awareness for Holden about the importance of an education which he does not receive very often. The main difference between Mr. Spencer and the movieemotionallywith Princip emotionalmovieemotional movie emotionally withoffewith Principwith offermovie emotionally Princip,  the principal is that Spencer cares about where Holden’s life is headed unlike many other adults in his life.

The Class explores many aspects of the French education system through the interaction of the students with their teacher. Mr. Marin teaches a class of lower-income, multicultural students. Early on, the viewer learns that students feel they are not learning anything relevant to them. During the class’s French-language, offeemotionalanswered lesson, a student asks the question why they need to learn formal grammar and Mr. Marin answered, 'It is the way people spoke in the 12th century.' It can be seen that the school is pressing the French culture onto the students who could care less. The viewer can easily see the discontentment of the students as they have to sit through an entire lesson on how to conjugate French verbs. It seems that they are in a way forced into this position by society’s standards and must assimilate to the French culture. However, the moviemotionally offerwith off withan withinoffer not with in offe a small glimpse into how education could be different. The students are asked to create self-portraits and write something about themselves. We learn about their lives, their families, what they like and dislike, and what are their fears and hopes. A new student, expelled from his previous school, reads aloud, 'I hate visiting my brother in jail… I hate politicians… the war on Iraq… racists.' Souleymane, a student who does not seem interested in school, becomes proud of his self-portrait when it is placed on the wall for others in the class to see. Although the teacher tries to reach out to the students, he is still overpowered by the bureaucracy of French society and must conform to its standards. Mr. Marin hwithin offer does not within doesas no power to prevent Souleymane from being expelled and is the result of society’s rules. There is definitely a barrier that has formed between teachers and students, and it has caused a large separation between personal and work life. The setting of the film takes place primarily in the school; only in the beginning does the viewer see Mr. Marin outside the school. Furthermore, the mental health of students has been pushed aside by the idea of a successful student as adults become more focused on preparing them for the future. Teachers seem more interested in bettering the student academically rather than understanding how they are emotionallyemotional.

In essence, by looking at Catcher and The Class, it can be argued that over time education systems have been corrupted by authoritative powers and hashavehowto affected how students learn in the classroom. Through the novel, Holden learns to understand the values of education from the lessons of his teachers. Furthermore, the students of The Class learn that they must break Holdcan order to beat society’s Holdpressures. At the end of the film, Mr. Marin asks his students what they learned from the school year and most of them have at least something to offer. Unfortunately, not everyone feels prepared for the future which reveals a flaw in the system. It uncovers the stress adults have put on students to succeed withinwhichwithin which can harm the student in the long run. Modern education systems have paid less attention to a student’s mental health and it has been pushed to the side. Holded is able tocanwithto can withofferwith offer principally with offer movie emotional hold emotionally withoffer movieemotional holdemotionally offerofferprincipal find the help he needs from the support of his teachers which has become less and less the case as society moves forward. Together, these pieces demonstrate how education has changed over time and how it has caused a shift in the way the education system is viewed.

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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How Education Has Changed Over Time. (2022, May 24). Retrieved from

How Education Has Changed Over Time essay
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