The Public Education System in America Discourages Free-thought and Individualism
Debate Rounds (4)
A large majority of the so-called educators are nothing more than mere pawns in a corpulent system of mediocrity, and believe that they are actually making a positive difference in the world (whilst remaining ignorant to the fact that their actions are contibuting to a mass dumbing-down of our nation's children).
Con stated "though children are taught the same generalized curriculum each still has the ability for free thought." I had never made the claim that public schools make it impossible for students to possess the ability of free-thought. However, I DID state that the school system DISCOURAGES free-thought and individualism.
Now, I shall impart a few reasons that support my claims:
* When faced with budget cuts, the first classes that schools decide to reduce funding to are Art and Music classes.
* The more intellectually inclined students are scolded for conducting thought experiments (daydreaming) during class to compensate for the lack of education that they receive from the so-called teachers.
* From a young age, students are exposed to one-sided government propaganda (drug-free campaigns) that tell them exactly how to respond in "peer-pressure" situations instead of encouraging them to weigh out the pros and cons and come to their own conclusions.
* Students are taught to blindly recite the pledge of allegiance (a form of indoctrination).
Now that I've listed some of the reasons that I believe individualism/creativity/free-thought are dicouraged in a public school setting I would like to end my argument.
Firstly, "When faced with budget cuts, the first classes that schools decide to reduce funding to are Art and Music classes."
I simply cannot agree with this opinion. As a student in the mentioned school system myself, I have never seen this occur. I am aware that not only is it a stereotype but the expected response based on America's placement of values more on sport than the arts, however I would like to point out that my school personally, when faced with sequestration as a federally funded school, cut first the sports teams. All the schools that I have ever attended (and there are nine) have first cut their sports teams and then their arts programs. As time progresses, arts and computer sciences have started to prioritize over other areas which could be cut. The argument that art and music are for the more creative is not a sound one, as this student is quite artistically challenged and yet linguistically creative.
To follow, "The more intellectually inclined students are scolded for conducting thought experiments (daydreaming) during class to compensate for the lack of education that they receive from the so-called teachers."
Daydreaming is not an experiment. We call this boredom. However, the most intellectually inclined students are the ones who know to go above and beyond in their work, because their normal teacher cannot teach to the top of the class and leave the less advanced struggling desperately for education. Therefore the intellectually inclined have more time and more space for free-thought because they can finish their work more quickly and to a higher level in which they can input their personal thoughts.
Thirdly, "From a young age, students are exposed to one-sided government propaganda (drug-free campaigns) that tell them exactly how to respond in "peer-pressure" situations instead of encouraging them to weigh out the pros and cons and come to their own conclusions."
This is a concept brought about by a massive rise in bullying in schools. With no defense mechanism taught and a soap-opera history of the horrors of bullying, it is actually an excellent asset to a student to be advised as how to respond to such an issue. Many students choose to ignore this advice anyway, but some will follow it and some will implement it in many ways. In a home where nothing is taught in terms of how to respond to such a situation, guidance is needed. And it isn't as if students are forced to respond in certain ways; we still have our thoughts and free agency and many choose to do whatever they want with their lives, completely disregarding what they have been taught and what they have learned.
Lastly, "Students are taught to blindly recite the pledge of allegiance (a form of indoctrination)."
A very dangerous card to play in any debate, but I will force myself to keep my calm. At my school it is required that you at least stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. I attend a school of military children. Our parents go out and fight for that flag to which most of us duly pledge our allegiance. There is no one forcing a student (legally) to recite said pledge. It is not a form of indoctrination, but patriotism. It is giving students something more to stand for, and helping them to realize what great legacy they come from.
I would like to restate my argument that though schools are distinctly structured, they do not discourage free thought and individualism. They train young people to be good citizens and contributing members of society. I do not feel as if my free thought is inhibited by education. My thoughts are entirely my own. They may be influenced by outside factors, but in the end I choose how I think. I choose how I am. I choose who I am, and I choose who I will be. It doesn't matter where someone comes from or what they are taught. After all, even through Hitler's harsh times of power in Germany there were still many who held strong to their individual thoughts and faith. American education has nowhere near the limiting power of the Nazi regime and therefore it can only limit your thoughts and individualism as much as you so allow it.
Having answered each of Pro's points and completed my own argument, I respectfully end this response and await a reply from my opponent.
In the first paragraph of your initial refute, you wrote:
"I simply cannot agree with this opinion. As a student in the mentioned school system myself, I have never seen this occur".
That is entirely exclusive to you and your own experiences, and the implications of my initial argument were not based off of your school alone. I can tell you, that in my school (and in others as well, research it), while football remains, music appreciation does not. It is very
The following will be my most extensive refute, and it regards daydreaming. Before I go further, let me note that I was referring exclusively to the daydreaming of young intellectuals (which can be inferred upon reading my initial refute), not that of the intellectually inferior.
You claimed that "Daydreaming is not an experiment", and I will have to say that I strongly disagree. From [http://plato.stanford.edu...], I have obtained and will present to you the following definition of a though experiment:
"Thought experiments are devices of the imagination used to investigate the nature of things."
As you can hopefully apprehend, a daydream can be an experiment, which eradicates the foundation of your bold claim that "Daydreaming is not an experiment".
The sentence "Therefore the intellectually inclined have more time and more space for free-thought because they can finish their work more quickly and to a higher level in which they can input their personal thoughts." is a situational refute that only works when your mentioned circumstances are in play. What if the teacher is giving a lecture on something that an advanced learner is already well versed in? Should he have to open his eyes and be forced to withstand the nefarious notion that is repetitiveness? I feel that it is rather tyrannical for a teacher to dictate a well-tempered student's attentiveness.
It is quite apparent that your refute of my point about the drug free campaign is entirely based on your belief that bullies encourage people to do drugs. I hold the belief that kids claim to being bullied into trying drugs as a result of them being caught and fabricating excuses. It is not justifiable at all, because in my health class the teacher claimed that a marijuana overdose was highly probable rather than simply stating that marijuana smoking isn't the healthiest choice; she constructed an argument based entirely on falsehoods. Can you honestly say that such things have never been propagated in your school?
Regarding the pledge of allegiance, you stated that it encourages patriotism. Patriotism is a subjective thing, students that wish not to be patriotic should not have to be patriotic. School is supposed to be about education, and what does standing during the pledge have to do with that? I feel that there is no fit justification for forcing students to stand. Patriotism is a belief, and the encouragement of it is an attempt to influence ones beliefs, which is propaganda.
I would like to conclude my argument by noting that you always refer to yourself when refuting my arguments. For instance, you added that your thoughts remain entirely your own. While you may have the ability to preserve your own thoughts, other students may not. Therefore, such a point holds no weight.
I Would like to thank you for entertaining my debate and look forward to your next response.
Surefoot forfeited this round.
Alphanumeric forfeited this round.
Surefoot forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by CriticalThinkingMachine 3 years ago
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