Even after his death in 1962, Paul Goodman was remembered by the whole of America due to his contributions in various fields, especially in education. He was a vocal critique of the American kind of education, such that he looked for a way to change the system. He felt that the current system was not serving the need of the students but was just programming them to be what other people wanted them to be, rather than what they aspired to be (Friedebberg, 10). He therefore wrote a book entitled ‘Mis-Education’ in which he suggested two simple proposals of reforming the education system.
In the first proposal, he argued that about half a dozen of the higher education institutions should offer a two year period of maturing up activities for students. They would be involved in some form of work for the two years before continuing with education. This would provide a break from the learning scenario and as students get back to class, they would have an experience of life hence be motivated (Goodman, 15). This is a sound idea since it would help the students to be more focused. It would make them aware of what to expect in the future life, hence make them brace for it.
In the second proposal, Goodman argued that about half a dozen of prestigious institutions should abolish grading and use testing for pedagogic purposes as seen fit by the teachers. This, he argues, is because while teachers are busy teaching, students are busy wondering how to apply this in the exams rather than in real life. This therefore alters the orientation of education (mu.edu, 1). In as much as the argument may be valid, yet the solution given is quite impractical. It would be quite difficult to run an education system without grading as this would bring a lot of confusion, and it would not be known who is most qualified or not. In light of these arguments, therefore, the first proposal is sounder and can be adopted by learning institutions.
Friedenberg, Edgar Z. Paul Goodman (1911-1972), 1999. Web, 18th Jan 2012, http://www.ibe.unesco.org/fileadmin/user_upload/archive/publications/ThinkersPdf/goodmane.PDF
Goodman, Paul. Compulsory Mis-Education. 1964. Web, 18th Jan 2012, http://www.gyanpedia.in/Portals/0/Toys%20from%20Trash/Resources/books/goodman.pdf
Mu.edu. Homework, Grading, and Testing. N.d. Web, 18th Jan 2012, http://spectral.mscs.mu.edu/viewpoints/CompulsoryMisEducation.html