"The American Scholar" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Essay by katzman36High School, 11th gradeA+, March 2009

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American Scholar 2007In today’s society, education is viewed by students mainly as a path which one can follow to join the workforce, but not so much as an experience designed to catalyze self enrichment and understanding. Most students go right on through the school system without realizing what they can get from it and end up coming out of high school as individuals that have acquired large amounts of information, but not knowing how to use it in the adult world. If the high school system in America were to be reformed, I would have the curriculum be based more on experiential learning because that is the way students learn and retain information the best; however there would not be an absence pf classroom learning.

Many students are told by their parents that their goal in life is to get a good job and make money. The student interprets this and it effects their high school career in that they only look to get through their education to get a good job, and nothing more.

There is nothing wrong with that but my main issue with it is that focusing only on getting through their high school experience detracts from their overall experience of learning for the sake of learning. Having the skills to learn and think for yourself are a lot more valuable than having the skills to just work in one field. Say, you wanted to get a job as a business manager. You go through high school and take a heavy load of math and business related courses, then go to college and get a degree, and then begin your job and make a good living. There is nothing wrong with this process, although you could be getting a lot more out of learning than just learning...