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What They Learn In School By Stern

673 words - 3 pages

Flying Kites On A Pond (Essay #1 to Jerome Stern's What They Learn In School) Jerome Stern's What They Learned In School challenges the phrase "the sky is the limit" in the case of today's methods of school education. While we are taught that education further develops human characteristics and the understanding of life, Stern points out the ironies. Instead of the intention to expand, to explore, and to inspire, he feels today's education is hypocritical of what it preaches.Stern's essay follows a simple format, he lists each educational standpoint with a following ironic disclaimer. For instance in lines 10-11: "And they want them to learn how to think for themselves so they can get good jobs and be successful, But they don't want them to have books that confront them with real ideas because that will confuse their values" The greatest offense to Stern is the coercion of a uniform truth. We should be proud of our nation as we are taught, but when many tragedies spring from our so-called patriotism, there are many secrets that are hidden. Ignore the fact that millions of Native Americans were killed off for land and profit. Ignore the fact that the Emancipation Proclamation wasn't a social conscience move, but of a political war move. And ignore the fact that our own countrymen place Japanese Americans into camps during World War II. But as Orlando Patterson, a sociology professor at Harvert suggests, "We like heroes, the good guys against the bad guys. We like to see history in two paths, good and evil, but it isn't so." The truth is Christopher Columbus slaughtered the natives for gold, even proclaiming himself as God to the natives. However, we are taught a simple and amusing nursery rhyme to celebrate him, Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. But of course, they left out the other trivial items.Stern also challenges our ways of viewing value. A great deal of us...

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