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Does Formal Education Tend To Restrain Our Minds And Spirits Rather Than Set Them Free? - With A Free Essay Review

Formal Education Tends To Restrain Our Minds And Spirits Rather Than Set Them Free. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.

Learning is a lifelong process. A child starts learning when he is born; he imitates his father and mother. Other family members also play a role to influence him. Schools play a vital role in molding the cognitive, conative and affective traits of a personality and shaping the minds and spirits of an individual while developing a good human being and a good citizen.

Schools play an important role in providing formal education to a child. A 3 year old child goes to kindergarten where he meets his peers; he interacts and learns to socialize. At home he is confined within his family but in the school his circle of friends grows; so does his spirit to learn and use his innate traits to perform and learn among his friends.

Earlier the curriculum was strict and followed patterns of learning which used to restrain the mind following the old conventional ways of learning. In the present era, the methodology to teach has changed. The method now followed is play and learn. Schools like montessori encourage students to work at their own pace, choose task that they desire, and learning is so much fun. They create an environment and place opportunities discreetly that the child gets inclined to choose a task and perform what he likes. Learning maths is through play and activities that help children to learn and grow in a joyful way. Poems and rhymes are a part that trains and helps emotional development. The skill to draw and learn boosts the child and encourages him to intrinsically be involved in mind, body and spirit in the task he is performing.

Educational institutions have a curriculum that will help children to learn the basic skills of reading, writing and speaking that would help them to learn different subjects like biology, maths and science. The formative years of learning helps them to get a wide horizon of learning different disciplines so that when they grow they can choose a path or career of their liking. The school faculty have rules that they abide by at the same time children follow it, which helps to control their free, unwanted desires, withdraw from unlawful and undesirable activities, and follow the regulations. In this controlled way children grow and learn to nip their anger, laziness, and grow in healthy way.

So though they restrain the free spirit, it is important to control undesired activities as a child is not aware about what is right or wrong. With moral education they imbibe good habits like truthfulness, punctuality, cleanliness, sharing, and leadership, which helps to grow the free spirit in a restrained way to produce the desired result and help boost the morale of the child as he grows to an adult. Thus formal education is a stepping stone to achieve the goals of life, flourish in a career and succeed to a healthy and meaningful life.

The teacher observes the child as he grows and identifies their strengths and weaknesses. For a child who is interested in colors, they provide learning opportunities in drawing, and strengthen his interest and skills so that he can become an artist; a child interested in plants can be motivated to become a biologist, botanist or a horticulturist; a child interested in writing can pursue a career in literature as a creative writer or editor of a magazine. Thus formal education helps to mold the mind and spirit proving beneficial to the human being and the society as a whole.



The reason that this prompt exists is that someone (or some group) thought the statement was one which reasonable people might have different opinions about. A good way to think of your task in responding to such a prompt is as the challenge of figuring out where you should position yourself in relation to the possible spectrum of opinion on the subject. If you do that, then it will be easier to write an essay that "discusses _the extent_ to which you agree or disagree with the statement." But to carry out your task in that way, you need to achieve a sense of the spectrum of opinion on the subject. This is a general version of the point that I made in response to your earlier submission: before making your own argument, think of the best possible argument in opposition to your argument. The general rule is, try to achieve a good, concrete sense of the reasonable arguments that might be made about the statement. Then explain which you think is closest to the truth.

Now why do the instructions prompt you to consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true. Again, someone or some group thought the statement was such that reasonable people might think the statement is true (or to some extent true) under certain conditions and perhaps untrue under other conditions. That assumes that there exist different possible conditions to consider. The instructions would not make sense if that were not true (and so the test writers would have rejected this statement as a possible essay test prompt), so it's a good idea, in answering a question like this, to think about what those different conditions might be.

So, if you are thinking about different possible arguments and you are thinking about different possible conditions under which the statement might or might not hold true, you've suddenly got a lot of variables to hold in your mind. And we have not even read the statement yet! When you've got a lot of variables like that (and, again, the prompts are designed to make that happen) you ought to end up with a very complex argument. You ought to end up with an argument that contains a bit of uncertainty, a bit of hemming and hawing, a bit of speculation and perhaps a bunch of conditional statements and some fence-sitting and some on-the-one-hand-this-on-the-other-hand-that dithering about.

It follows that what your essay should probably not look like a simple, one-sided, straightforward defense of a single, absolute position. Your essay does look a bit like that, however. That is not to say that you don't have good arguments. You do have good arguments, and that will certainly count for something. But you are looking only at the positive aspect of formal education and you are treating formal education as a homogeneous entity. Even if you think there are no negative aspects of formal education at all, you ought to try to come up with a list of negative aspects that others might think formal education has. To some extent you do do this, but only indirectly. For example, you argue that formal education gives students a grounding in basic skills. You argue further that in doing so, formal education enables students to later pursue the career of their choice. That's an indirect way of saying: Some might think that forcing students to follow a formal curriculum inhibits their choice; in reality, it ultimately gives students more freedom to choose because it gives them the basic skills needed to pursue a variety of possible interests. That’s the right kind of argument to make, but it needs to be made explicit.

Best, EJ.

P.S., For the sake of clarity, here's an example of the kind of hemmong and hawing I mentioned above; it's a slightly more elaborate and obviously distorted version of one of your arguments:

On the one hand, the kind of informal education that lacks structure and discipline and encourages children to pursue whatever interests they happen to have sounds like the kind of education that would encourage the spirit of discovery and exploration. Many children are sensitive and impatient, find it hard to focus, and lose interest quickly. There may be children for whom formal education is an obstacle to knowledge rather than a path of discovery. On the other hand, it may be that the best explorers are those who have a rigorous training in fundamental academic disciplines. The child who has been rigorously trained to critically read complex arguments, for example, has a much greater ability to freely explore the world of knowledge than a child whose learning experience has been desultory or chaotic.
Submitted by: Nam


Dear EJ, I want to thank you for your excellent job. We really learn from your reviews what is GRE writing and how to do it.
December,27 2014

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