Little Man Tate

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Little Man Tate Over the years, the education system has gradually changed. There are two main styles of teaching. The banking concept of education is when the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Problem-posing education is the other style of education. In this style, the teacher is no longer merely the one-who-teaches, but he is learning with the student as well. These different ways of teaching have affected children in many ways. Education caused Fred Tate's Life to be like that of a potted plant.

This seed of a boy was born into the caring hands of his mother, Dede Tate. Fulfilling her motherly duties, Dede tries to help little Freddy grow in to a mature gentleman. A plant needs soil in which to grow. The soil for Fred was his mother's loving care. However, as Fred grew older and started attending school, he noticed that he was different.

Just as flowers grow, so do children. Sometimes, they don't all turn out the same. Fred felt alone. He was so much smarter that the other children. When in first grade, he was writing poetry, competing in national piano competitions, painting pictures, and writing plays. His teacher confronted his mother with the idea that Fred just did not pay attention in class at all. The following week, she was saying that he should move up a grade or even skip elementary school all together.

Jane Grison runs a school for special children. Her school is for those children who are exceptionally smart. She tries to play the job of plant food for the children. In other words, she helps them grow. Fred's mom has caused him to basically die in spirit. Fred was invited to take many tests, but his mother would not allow him to. The institute that Jane runs, found out about him and invited him into their community. The institute is commercialized by Jane Grison's books. Children read these books, and they want to go to the school. This approach is almost like bank education, because they are forcing education onto children, because they are smart. Dede Tate eventually allowed Fred to attend an interview, at Jane Grison's school. Fred was accepted and invited to Odyssey of the Mind with the School.

Fred Tate was exposed to the odyssey of the mind, which he learned, involved creative problem solving. In a well- rounded education, creativity must prevail, or else the knowledge gained is memorized, processed, and filed away, with the student never actually "learning." The two main parts of the Odyssey of the Mind are the long term problem and then the hands on spontaneous. In the long term, teamwork is essential, as they collorabate to solve a problem over an allotted amount of time with a limited amount of material or money, and with both they have a time frame.

The spontaneous problem is mostly interpretation, which is a replica of real life, and an education is meant to prepare us for "real life." At the time when he was exposed to this, Fred was in a slight depression. His petals had withered to the feeling of not fitting in. All that He wanted to accomplish in life was to have someone to sit and eat lunch with. Odyssey of the mind gave life back into the petals. It provided Fred with hope that there are other kids out there like him, and that he could have someone to sit and eat lunch with.

Odyssey of the Mind was only the first adventure that Jane Grison had planed for Fred. After returning home, she requests that Dede Tate allow her son to attend college in the summer. While at college, Jane would be observing Fred and writing his biography. Fred lived with Jane, during the summer months, as he attended a college class. Jane Grison applied the banking education system to Fred, while he lived in her house. He was told only to use certain items, and not to touch others. He was told what he could, and could not eat. She would also make him do certain projects, that she could use, in her testing. Fred was basically her Ginny-pig. Attending college can be a large rock for high school graduates to climb. Fred was only in second grade, when he entered his first physics class in college. The petals on this flower started to slowly wilt once again.

The pressure of taking test after test, and having to indulge so much information, was too much for a small child. Returning to his home, Fred waited for his mother. Dede apologized, for allowing him to go through so much, and tells him that he can live his life the way he wants. The sunshine filtered down, on the little apartment, as this little flower sprung back into life. Invited to his next birthday party, were all of Fred's newfound friends. The kids were able to act like kids and have fun. Jane Grison even made an appearance at the party. Fred still attends her school but is not pressured as much as before. Jane has finally realized that kids just need to be kids.

Educational systems have an important role to play in children's lives. If the child is not given the opportunity to experience education, then they will like a flower, wilt in spirit. Parents have to be open to allowing their children to experience the world. However, education should be helpful to the child and not harm them, or cause them to skip and important part in life.