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Are schools "temples of learning?" Why or why not?School used 2 be a place where...

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shivankshekhar | Student, Grade 10 | Honors

Posted October 17, 2012 at 4:03 PM via web

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Are schools "temples of learning?" Why or why not?

School used 2 be a place where knowledge was shared. But now, it is no more like a temple.It is a place where knowledge is sold. Moreover schols have now became a fighting ground and a place of mischief. So this view is fast changing.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 17, 2012 at 4:16 PM (Answer #2)

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This is obviously going to be different in different countries and even in different schools within countries.

I do not buy the idea that schools used to be so much better than they are now.  In the US, for example, teachers were still regularly beating students who did not learn their lessons properly not much more than a century ago.  In many places, schools used to be only a place for the privileged and the poor were excluded.  This is hardly what a temple of learning should be.

So I don't think schools have deteriorated overall.  I think they are just as much of "temples" as they ever were.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 17, 2012 at 5:44 PM (Answer #3)

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This is an interesting idea.  I am not sure that it was ever true that learning was shared.  I think that most schools have been a place where people go to get knowledge.  Students are not partners on the journey to learning.  They are empty pitchers into which knowledge is poured.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted October 17, 2012 at 7:54 PM (Answer #4)

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Perhaps what we should consider is the value place on education with schools being the place where this education is most prominently developed. We need to recognize that in many countries, education is valued as a high priority by both governments and citizens. In some countries, the opportunity to obtain an education is considered "sacred." However, in other countries, the United States for instance, education is becoming less valued. Teachers are less respected. Dropping out is not considered as negatively as it used to be. A greater number of students are repeating classes. Behavior and discipline issues are increasing. Parents are less involved, but when many are forced to work 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet, this is not surprising. Schools might still be temples of learning, but what are students learning now?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:18 PM (Answer #5)

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Teachers, myself included, tend to assume that things used to be better, but I'm not so sure. I think it's more a matter of nostalgia for an imagined past.

Dropout rates are unacceptably high, but it wasn't forty years ago that many students (more, I suspect, than today) left school at fourteen or fifteen, or younger, to begin work. Children with special needs were not served, or were simply ignored, shunted aside, or even punished. In classrooms, teachers emphasized rote learning over anything approaching critical thought. Many schools encouraged or even mandated home economics courses for girls instead of college prep courses. This leaves out the fact that it was only forty years ago that schools in some parts of our nation became fully integrated. As pohnpei has observed, corporal punishment and humiliation were viewed as completely legitimate ways of disciplining students.

Ultimately, I think it's just that we ask more of our schools now than we used to. As far as the value we place on education, I think we value it now more than ever. It's viewed as a sine qua non for success in life today, and that was not the case even three decades ago. 

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:20 PM (Answer #6)

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Interesting that temples are seen as a marketplace... Education has certainly become an industry, especially the institution of higher education. This does not mean that school has degenerated into commercialism, but it does mean that the idea of what school is supposed to be is undergoing change (as opposed to what school is supposed to do). 

The role of schools in the education of citizens seems to be the same as ever, but additional responsibilities have been assigned to schools in terms of -, meeting special needs, and facilitating college entrance. 

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