This assignment will analysis and examine both sides of the argument using a range of conceptual and theoretical literature to support any analytical statements made within this essay. The first debate is on whether engaging in formal education is the most important part of childhood.
Formal education has been a consistent structure in developed societies such as Britain who made education compulsory for children less than ten years old in the 1880’s, then made education free for all children with the Education Act of 1918. Formal primary education is important in childhood as it’s the foundation on which children will help construct there understanding of adulthood. According to Matthew (2006), p.14) education for pupils should be preparing for entering society in ways that enable them to critically reflect on it and have some control over the direction. Primary education is structured to teach children lifelong skills and knowledge to competently produce basic cognitive tasks in preparation for adult life such as reading, writing, arithmetic and problem solving skills. “The bridge between infancy (total dependence) to adulthood (independence) as society becomes more complex, the need for an education preparatory to adulthood become more apparent” (Berns, (1988), p.4). Primary education also gives children the opportunity to reach their full potential and have a prosperous life as an adult.
Formal education and progression into adulthood isn’t the only importance aspect of childhood. According UNICEF (1989), p.10), Children Rights Article 31 Children have the “recognize right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational, activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.” Childhood is a time for children to explore and discover themselves and the environment around them; this is usually best done through self-motivated activities such as play and leisure time. “When playing children demonstrate and develop capacities, skills and ides what are not in themselves play” (Jones, In Maynard, T. and Thomas, N. (2004), p.193). When children are playing they are able to investigate and explore with an open mind which enables them to access a wider scope of ideas and make mental connection which adult can find difficult to comprehend. Countries such as Swedish view of curriculum (quote) put great emphasis on children’s learning through play as way of expanding children’s mind, encouraging creativity and promoting independence needed in adulthood to advance in a work environment. Froebel’s supports that play exemplifies development from within a child “play is the highest achievement of child development ... play as this period of life is not a trivial pursuit; it is a serious occupation and has deep significance” (Rusk, 1967, in Smith,K.P. 2010, p.23).
However formal education in childhood is to “introduces children to important element of their nation, religious or...