Analysis Of Carl Sagan's The Burden Of Skepticism In Public Education

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A skeptical attitude amongst students in public schools is needed to break the structure of the school system imposed by the government. According to Carl Sagan in his article titled “The Burden of Skepticism,” he believes skepticism is important, and should be exhibited in school systems to help children succeed in life. This idea echoes John Gatto in his article “Against School,” because he believes the corrupted education system in America is causing our children to become products of the government. In order to recognize the control the school system has over students, and change the structure of public schools, skepticism is an essential asset among students. In order for citizens to acknowledge the control public school systems have …show more content…
Gatto breaks down the structure of public education into six categories: adaptive, integrating, diagnostic, differentiating, selective, and propaedeutic. He is against the current school structure because it suppresses a person 's creative side and makes pupils more alike. The adaptive function is against critical thinking, while promoting obedience. Gatto states, “Schools are to establish fixed habits of reaction to authority” (Gatto). By schools only teaching fixed habits approved by the school system, this leads to suppression of students’ natural instinct to use skepticism. Sagan would support Gatto’s beliefs against this system because he believes a balance of skepticism should be used to filter the bad ideas from the good ones. Science is an example Sagan uses to explain the perfect amount of skepticism. The scientist goes against the norms, creating new ideas, but also rigorously criticizes others work. If school systems create a structure around science, children will learn how to be skeptical- questioning peers ideas while learning how to expand their imagination. Each student will use their imagination to create new ideas and distinguish the good ideas from the bad. Gatto talks about how many children consider themselves bored in school. This is due to the lack of interest in subjects or the content of the classes

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