Summary Of School Is Bad For Children By John Holt

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This past August, more than 50 million kids between the ages four and eighteen participated in what they know as a fact of life: public education (1). For many, school is a place where a child is free to learn, create, explore and grow. However, John Holt has a much different opinion. In his essay, “School is Bad for Children,” Holt brings to light what he perceives are the inadequacies of public schools, along with suggestions to make them more effective. Though several of Holt’s accusations are based on truth, unfortunately, the logic and structure of his essay are flawed. In “School is Bad for Children,” John Holt is ineffective in convincing his audience of the faults of and need for change in schools because of his logical fallacies,…show more content…
To say that the “bad kids” spend a majority of their time in school, therefore school causes their unacceptable behavior, is naive logic. Holt offers no hard evidence to prove that school is at fault. In one of Holt’s examples, he makes school the scapegoat for student drug use. He reasons that “school is a long lesson in how to turn yourself off,” and students seeking to have an “awareness to the world,... can only find it in drugs” (74). Though this could very well be true in some cases, once again his logic is flawed. According to Dr. Neil I. Bernstein, boredom, school induced or otherwise, is not even in the top three reasons why teens turn to drugs. Bernstein clearly states that the top three are peer pressure, popular media, and escape or self-medication (4). Obviously Bernstein’s professional research does not coincide with Holt’s claim. Holt is guilty of leading the audience to believe that just because some children are introduced to drugs at school, that school is the driving force behind the kids trying them. Once again, Holt’s misinformation hinders his ability to connect with his audience because he lost the element of truth. With that loss, the audience is less likely to believe his other arguments against

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