What is the purpose of the text?
Which of the following is closest in meaning to the word “qualms” (paragraf 1)?
What is the topic of the text above?
Parents send their children to school with the best of intentions, believing that formal education is what kids need to become productive, happy adults. Many parents do have qualms about how well schools are performing, but the conventional wisdom is that these issues can be resolved with more money, better teachers, more challenging curricula, or more rigorous tests. But what if the real problem is school itself? The unfortunate fact is that one of our most cherished is, by its very nature, failing our children and our society.
Children are required to be in school, where their freedom is greatly restricted, far more than most adults would tolerate in their workspaces. In recent decades, we have been compelling them to spend ever more time in this kind of setting, and there is strong evidence that this is causing psychological damage to many of them. And as scientists have investigated how children naturally learn, they have realized that kids do so most deeply and fully, and with greatest enthusiasm, in conditions that are almost opposite to those of school.
Compulsory education has been a ixture of our culture now for several generations. President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are so enamored of it that they want even longer school days and years. Most people assume that the basic design of today’s school emerged from scientiic evidence about how children learn. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Schools as we know them today are a product of history, not of research. The blueprint for them was developed during the Protestant Reformation, when schools were created to teach children to read the Bible, to believe Scripture without questioning it, and to obey authority igures without questioning them. When schools were taken over by the state, made compulsory, and directed toward secular ends, the basic structure and methods of teaching remained unchanged. Subsequent attempts at reform have failed because they have not altered basic blueprint. The top down, teach-and-test method, in which learning is motivated by a system of reward and punishments rather than by curiosity or by any real desire to know, is well designed for indoctrination and obedience training but not much else. It is no wonder that many of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs and innovators either left school early (like Thomas Edison) or said they hated school and learned despite it, not because of it (like Albert Einstein).
(Adapted from http:/www.rd.com/advice/parenting/Americanschoolsystemdamagingkids/ #ixzz2q3SLk4Hn. Accessed February 12, 2014)