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Gatto Interpretation

Gatto Interpretation

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Published by: lwill201 on May 02, 2010
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Lauren Williams Jan Rieman English 1101x April 3, 2010 America and Education In our country today, most

of us follow the same path growing up. We all have at least twelve years of the standard ³schooling´ and some continue their education on into college and graduate school for whatever individual reasons. John Taylor Gatto gives the people his opinion of the standard ³schooling´ in his essay, ³Against School.´ Gatto believes that public schools everywhere are giving children a crippling education. Growing up I was forced to learn the same boring materials repeatedly and teachers held my hand all the way through high school. This is a huge problem because more and more kids are being taught to never truly grow up. Also, schools everywhere are placing children in certain levels of classes according to test scores. Are schools across America really slacking on the quality of education they are giving to our country¶s children? America runs in a pattern like way when it comes to our society¶s opinion of education and success. It seems like more often these days young adults graduating high school are being forced into college with the fear of failing if they do not go. This cycle of schooling is overwhelming and hard to swallow when you face the facts. Gatto¶s beliefs on the public education system is very true in the eyes of many who have also had to endure the same teaching guidelines and the same boring material five days a week, one hundred and eighty days a year. As I child, I was constantly bored with the same repetitive

routine day after day. I was caught on numerous accounts daydreaming or doodling all over my notebooks. Gatto claims, ³Boredom was everywhere in my world, and if you asked the kids, as often as I did, why they felt so bored, they always gave the same answers: They said the work was stupid, that it made no sense, that they already knew it. They said they wanted to be doing something real, not just sitting around.´(33). Millions of kids across the United States of America can relate to this statement made by Gatto. Children are becoming bored with the same classroom structure and class work during the school week. It is time that schools begin to change things up and give their students exciting, new, and adventurous learning opportunities. Children need to be able to explore their surroundings and learn things that they can carry through all walks of their lives so that they may really be educated. Some individuals can go through school and barely get by simply because they feel no need to do all the busy work that is many times forced upon students. This is not to say that this individual is not smart or educated because they very well may be. Today children are determined smart by the standard testing that is in place in schools. Whether or not a person is truly educated should not depend on their grades or how much and what type of schooling they have received. Year after year students are placed in certain classes merely because of a test grade. This is really unfair to the students who do not test well. I was one of those students. I always knew the material and paid attention in class but I never performed well when it came to a test. In the opinion of many, test scores are almost like a stereotype for kids who do not always do as well on tests as the other students. Gatto states, ³Accept mortality, knowing that every choice affects the generations to come.´(1). Children and teens are often pushed from day one to go to college after they graduate high school. Society portrays college as a necessary task to have a successful and prosperous life.

Someone who never attended college but is talented in a specific area has all the potential to work in the area they are talented in. Where one ends up in life depends on what their individual goals are and if they reached those goals, not because of where they went to school. The most powerful statement Gatto made, comes from his work titled, ³12 Things Really Educated People Know.´ He finds that really educated people will always ask: ³Who am I? Where are my limits? What are my possibilities?´(2). Any person who knows the answers to these questions truly knows themselves and is educated in an extraordinary way. These are the people who will not be afraid to learn and explore, and these will be the individuals who will truly make a difference in the world. Gatto makes many valuable points in his writings that many can take and learn from. He explains to everyone what it means to really be educated in our society. School systems all across the country should seriously take into consideration the crippling effect they are having on their students with the teaching methods and the set curriculum that is being forced upon the children. Schools need to look at the students performance in a class from the beginning to the end, not just their final end of grade tests. The society that we live in should shy away from preaching that in order to succeed and be prosperous is to attend college. Let kids make their own choices according to their desires for their life. Encourage kids everywhere to venture out on their own and try to teach themselves something. Who knows, maybe students in America will become their own teachers of education.

With this last big paper, I really put my own flare on it. I loved this essay because it really hit home with me. It is sad that our schools are set up like this but that¶s just how it is. I

really hope that you can see the points I was trying to make. I think the structure of this paper is better than the ones before and I really tried to stay with the point of my paper. I completely agree with everything Gatto says. Can¶t you tell;) Anyways I hope that I have improved and let me know the areas I was weak in. I believe I was also aware of my audience, and I did use ³I´ but it was for personal experience.

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