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Paper Topic:

What True Education Should Do


Sidney J . Harris , author of What True Education Should Do , tells us that education should focus on eliciting knowledge from , instead of inserting stuffings of information to , a pupil . She uses an "animated sausage casing " to describe the common view of education , while she uses the "oyster " as a metaphor of her principle of genuine education According to her , the common view requires students to read and absorb what are written in textbooks , or digest everything that the teachers tell them . Her view of a genuine education , is , however , helping

students to use their God-given mind in to analyze , decide , think and express ideas . Hence , she says , like an oyster , students should be encouraged by teachers to exhibit the riches within

Citing writings by Socrates , William Ernest Hocking , and Edith Hamilton , she asserts that education is more effective when a pupil is asked to draw out from his own mind rather than if he is compelled to memorize all information shared by a teacher

She cites Socrates ' example of a boy , who was never education , yet was able to articulate his knowledge of geometry because he was already inherently aware of its principles and axioms due to his own experiences in everyday life . On the other hand , she recalls of a college student who had difficulty learning because of the excessive amount of material he was asked to absorb , thus had no time to think or expel anything from his own mind

She concludes that in to avoid creating "well-informed dunces i .e . non-thinking individuals , education should be more focused on expelling ideas from a person rather than on feeding information to him She specifies that a teacher must mold students into persons who are able to use the rules of logic and reason , and form conclusions based on analysis and evidence


After reading the essay , an old Spanish saying came to my mind "El deber de todo padre es preparar a su hijo para el camino y no el camino para su hijo (The duty of a good father is to prepare his son for the road , and not the road for his son " The saying means that a good father must be able to teach his child to be responsible , independent and educate him so that he 'll earn by himself , rather than leaving him with riches

Ms . Harris ' article shares the same view with respect to education She says that education is more effective when an a student is guided and molded on how to use his brain , specifically his reason , logic , his own abilities and cognitive skills , rather than if the student is asked to memorize what all our ancestors have written

In mathematics for example , some professors would teach a student how to solve the simple equation "X 3 5 " by imposing to students of the rule that deducting both sides of the equation by 3 would result to having "X 3 -3 5 - 3 , thus "X 0 2 " and "X...

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