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How Education Affects The American Society

1463 words - 6 pages

Education is said to be one of the most important factors of modern society because children are considered to be the future. Supposedly, with superior teachings, society will continue to evolve to greater standards. John Dewey, the father of experiential education, alludes to this acceleration of instruction in societies in his statement, where he considers the relationship between American high schools and a flourishing Democracy. American high schools are preparing their students for a Democratic life by not focusing only on the fundamentals and providing higher level classes to allow teaching to be directed away from the masses. As a result, not only is education and preparedness for the real world improving, but society as a whole is improving too.
Fundamentals provide the basis for all of society; without these functions, more advanced techniques and procedures could not be practiced in everything that is done today. This same rule applies to education because the fundamentals provide the ability to explore in more detail subjects of interest. Although the fundamentals provide the basis for education, they cannot be the only focus. Dewey states, “ The notion that the ‘essentials’ of elementary education are the three R’s mechanically treated, is based upon ignorance of the essential needed for realization of democratic ideals…” (164). Dewey implies the fundamentals of education “the three R’s” are needed, but there is also a need for education in different areas and in different methods to learn about the democratic ideals of society. Similarly, Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of America’s most influential thinkers and writers, in his essay “Education” believes “Genius and Drill” are the basis for advancing in education. Acknowledging the need for continual repetition of the fundamentals or “Drill”, also requires an enthusiasm for the skills and motivation of “Genius”, so “Genius” and “Drill” are mutually required for the ideal pupil. While this assertion seems paradoxical, it contains a deeper truth that the interest associated with genius implies a neglect of the essentials and fundamentals, but as Emerson explains, repetition and mastery of fundamentals are required for education to flourish as well as democracy (Dewey 164). Likewise, in “School” by Kyoko Mori, a writer who earned her PhD from the University of Wisconsin, demonstrates the effect of learning the necessities for writing by comparing the Japanese and American teaching styles. “The details are everything” (Mori para. 27) describes the Japanese teaching style, but conversely in America, “Students are often drilled on the details of grammar or form and, yet, are forgiven for the minor mistakes they make in their writing” (Mori para.28). Both teaching styles are effective in some way but ineffective in others. The Japanese style makes perfection attainable from the beginning of learning, but also prior knowledge is assumed which students must learn themselves or repeat until they...

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