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The Foolish Mr. Keating of Dead Poet's Society
The Dead Poet's Society raises an interesting question: When
educating teen-agers, is it better to use the school's policy of Tradition,
Honor, Discipline, and Excellence or Mr. Keating's philosophy of carpe diam
(seize the day)? Mr. Keating believed that people should "suck the marrow out of
life" and live like a free thinking person even at the young age of seventeen.
Centuries of teaching experience prove Mr. Keating is wrong and that tradition
and discipline are the correct methods of educating.
Our fledgling nation of only 200 years is a mental midget in this world.
Why is it that we are 17th in the world in education. Is it that we are stupid?
No, it is that we have diverged from the old world teaching methods of Europe
and Asia. Japan is third is the world in education. The reason is simple.
Although they manufacture most of the world's calculators, not one is used in
the classroom. One really begins to understand math when taught by route
memorization and physical punishment for incorrect answers. Anyone who has been
"rapped on the knuckles" by a nun with a ruler can attest to this fact.
The one thing that a student needs in life is structure. Without this,
he or she cannot function in a school environment. When a bell rings, you must
go to class. When a teacher assigns homework, you do it. No questions asked. No
individual thought. The only marrow that should be sucked out of a students life
is that of education. That, after all, is why they are in school. To learn and
no other reason.
In the end, it should be noted that although Mr. Keating's teaching
philosophy was debunked, he made one good point.
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parents. Neil's case is a perfect example of a mind not ready for independent
thought. A mind without discipline. His parents tried to give him direction and
a better life than they had. Neil rewarded them by killing himself. The author
of this essay has no sympathy for Mr. Keating, the man whose teaching inspired a
cowardly act of suicide.