Describe Scout's experiences with school. What might Harper Lee be indicating about education in that time and place?I'm trying to right an essay, and I need answers and ideas. Please help me....

Describe Scout's experiences with school. What might Harper Lee be indicating about education in that time and place?

I'm trying to right an essay, and I need answers and ideas. Please help me. Thank you!

Asked on by etel94

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bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Scout's anticipation of her first day at school is nearly overwhelming, and

I never looked forward more to anything in my life.

But her first day is a monumental letdown. Her teacher, Miss Caroline, is fresh from college and a newcomer to Maycomb, and she quickly discovers that things are different in South Alabama than in her previous home in the northern part of the state. When Scout tries to explain why Walter Cunningham has no lunch money, Miss Caroline spanks Scout with a ruler, bringing a "storm of laughter" from her classmates. Miss Caroline later breaks down in tears after witnessing her first lice, crawling in the dirty hair of Burris Ewell, and being called a "slut of a schoolteacher" by Bob's son. Scout and her classmates rush to console their teacher, who recovered long enough to mystify

... the first grade with a long narrative about a toadfrog who lived in a hall.

Although Scout can read and write cursive and is probably the brightest student in the class, Miss Caroline believes she needs to be "untaught" of these habits, which the teacher thinks should not be known by a first grader yet. Miss Caroline's insulting remark that "your father does not know how to teach," stings Scout; but more importantly, it shows the ignorance and lack of teaching skills that Miss Caroline possesses. Her modern approach to education, learned from her recent college experience, is not a fit with Maycomb or Scout, who wants to quit school after the first day. However, Atticus talks her out of it, stressing that Miss Caroline has learned a few things on her first day, and that she will learn more. He then gives Scout a lesson on tolerance, telling her that

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

sanskritibookbound's profile pic

sanskritibookbound | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

the education in that time was tooo prejudiced and promoted development only in limited feilds, only in the feilds the teacher thought important. the class teacher of scout, miss caroline, scolds her for being too aware... any reasonable person would find this rather smart and intelligent than finding it concerning as miss caroline does. as jem says, this is the dewey decimal system miss caroline is introducing i the school('if you wanna know about cow, you go n milk one)... she is trying to be practical but gets more prejudiced instead... she eventries to define what shoul and what shouldn't a 1st grade child SHOULD know...

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