Creating an Independent Citizen or Forming a Predictable Pattern of Behavior

Creating an Independent Citizen or Forming a Predictable Pattern of Behavior

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Education in its broadest sense is a process of getting new knowledge and skills both through primary socialization and special facilities. It forms a foundation for human development, a basis for a happy and prosperous future for any child. Therefore education by itself is multi-layered and involves both families and schools. At the same time, the very essence of education is unclear. The main question is whether a child should learn how to think independently and become able to defend their own opinion on a given issue or if it is more important to form certain patterns of behavior, necessary for survival in the harsh world of adults. In this paper, I will present two points of view on the essence of education and argue that, while it is important to provide the knowledge about certain patterns of behavior, the families should leave this task to schools, focusing on development of their children as independent thinkers, able to critically evaluate any issue and successfully defend one’s own perspective on it.
In the article, titled “Why Boys Don’t Play with Dolls”, Katha Pollitt poses a question – should the parents teach their children certain patterns of expected behavior on the basis of their gender or not? The author highlights the positive changes brought to the society by feminism. She claims that the roles in a family or community are not as strictly divided as they used to be:
“Three-year-olds may indeed insist that doctors are male and nurses female, even if their own mother is a physician. Six-year-olds know better. These days, something like half of all medical students are female, and male applications to nursing school are inching upward. When tomorrow's 3-year-olds play doctor, who's to say how they'll assign th...


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...tion, claiming that the parents must focus on teaching their children how to think independently. If parents, trying to make their children’s life easier, simply promote stereotypical behavior, we will have a mass of mediocre citizens. However, if the parents motivate their children to verify before trusting and make up their own mind before taking sides, no school can modify such individuals or turn them into a silent rule-abiding conformist. Then the only thing that the creators of the system would be capable of doing is (and here I agree with Gatto) managing themselves. So let’s allow them do it!



Works Cited

Gatto, John Taylor. Against school: how public education cripples our kids, and why. Harper’s Magazine 307.1840 (Sept 2003): 33-38. Print.
Pollitt, Katha. Hers; Why Boys Don't Play With Dolls. New York Times Magazine 08 Oct. 1995. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.

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