Best Systems of Schooling for Children

Introduction with definition and different views

The system of schooling refers to the method that is adopted for educating the children, envisage, interalia, the use of private and public schools, the informal formats, which provides for education at home, or in less institutionalized settings.

Thus, there are basically two means of providing education to children. The first is formal schooling through private and public institutions and the second is informal schooling, which is afforded by homes and school services. This paper will be an endeavor to present both sides of the issue in an unbiased manner and provide a viewpoint on which of the two ways prove more effective in educating children. It will also discuss how conclusions are drawn, by utilizing the eight elements of reasoning.

The overall development of children is dependent on the basic human necessities like attention, nutrition, social interaction, and education. Moreover, for the same basic human necessities and proper development to be definite, children need to be reared in a healthy environment. Such an upbringing becomes the catalyst that will enable young individuals to develop the basic problem-solving skills necessary to handle everyday life. Therefore, it is the primary duty of parents to provide such an environment to their children. It is with this objective in mind that parents educate their children to prepare them for becoming mature and responsible individuals in the society.

Uncertainties, assumptions and biases of problem in general

Acquiring knowledge in subjects such as science, language, and mathematics etc., help children in facing challenges and solving problems in daily life. The initial learning from the parents and the added knowledge from the academic subjects are highly significant sources in growing children to develop as matured individuals.

Problem Question or identification

“Which would be the best system of schooling for our children?”

This paper seeks to determine which mechanism is most effective for children to have better learning options.

Both formal and informal systems have their own benefits and threats and therefore, it is necessary to consider these aspects within the framework of this study.

not substantiate formal teaching?

This could be seen in terms of the advantages formal education. The second perspective would be with regard to whether informal teaching methods could be propagated with respect to schooling, in certain socio-economic milieu that does has over informal, or education in home settings.

Evidence and Evaluation of the Evidence

The system of formal schooling enjoys several advantages. One significant merit is the availability of specifically qualified faculty in the establishment. The teachers are trained to handle specialized courses, in which their own education will provide either an enhanced or up-to-date understanding of the relevant subjects. The schools follow the requirements of the state’s educational policy which is fixed and standardized, all aimed at developing the student’s mentality. Formal education has a grading system that promotes the principle of good performance. The teachers further ensure that their students meet the set metrics of this system. Besides the usual graded subjects, other courses or activities are also provided which further build the mind and character of children. In addition, the opportunity for inter-school competitions becomes an opportunity for advancement in a student’s learning on a different and more challenging level.

Besides this it is seen that children attending schools in formal milieus are more responsive to their environment, are more adaptable, have better social skills especially when dealing with peer and senior groups and are environmentally more comfortable than the children who do home study. The latter group, although they may excel in studies, may display social awkwardness, reticence and difficulties in non curriculum activities, like sports, games and other events.

Another, advantage of formal education is that there is specificity to the discipline being inculcated to children. This system follows certain school schedules, wherein the student eats, sleeps, or plays only when it is a designated break. Seat works or assignments have to be accomplished before the predetermined deadlines. Some social norms need to be observed in which adjusting or adhering to civilized interaction is promoted. Often, these interactions are sanctioned by the school to promote a healthy assimilation into the society at an early age.

One last advantage is emphasized by London columnist Gillian Bowditch (2003), when she conveys that children who are in a public education system develop a sense of independence in the simplest process of organizing their possessions and travelling to and from school.

Despite several merits that make it a better option, formal schooling has its own disadvantages also. The environment of children may be at risk as the institution can be and is susceptible to internal or outside circumstances which are beyond parental control. This becomes evident from the remarks of specialists like Michael Slater, Kimberly Henry, Randall Swaim and Lori Anderson (2003), that “[a] substantial and growing body of research supports the claim that youth exposure to media violence leads to increased aggressiveness” (p. 713). The study based its metrics on the type of computer used or video games children played, internet sites accessed, and the effects of such mediums on them. True, such forms of media are available in whatever type of environment a child is introduced into. “Larger schools are more likely to report criminal incidents than smaller ones” and this data makes it a control issue for the parents. A formal school set-up may enroll students numbering up to hundreds, depending on its capacity. A large classroom proves to be difficult to manage when the goal is a quality one-to-one education. Though the intentions of seat works, activities, assignments and the deadlines that come with such requirements are for the good of the learner, not all students are capable of handling it all at the same pace. Moreover, a child who may have exceptional ability in one subject or course may be challenged by another. Thus, he may fail the whole fixed grading system just because of his inability to cope with an issue he is not entirely comfortable with.

Advantages of Informal Schooling

A major advantage of informal schooling is that at home, parents have more control of the child’s environment. What a child can and cannot access in media rely largely on the parent’s discretion. They personally reach the resources they use to educate their little ones.

Since the parents know their child more, their main focus may be on providing a more direct one-to-one approach in teaching. It may also be given with an assurance of accompanying parental love and attention, thus helping the child’s development as a well-rounded individual. Learning is not superficial as the values being taught may well be observed as the ones being followed at home and a non-pressured pace and individual attention provide a more comfortable learning environment.

Disadvantages of Informal Schooling

Since informal schooling is imparted at home, it is not covered by any state educational policies. With no definite standards set, such a system generates the possibility of a lot of subjective interpretation of various topics by both the parent and the child. Thus, the child’s knowledge may not conform to the outside world. Within the confines of the protected home and equally shielding parents, the child may seek such security when faced with difficult situations and it may impair its ability of being independent. Besides, a conflict between parents or figures of authority in the house may create confusion with regard to proper learning.

The degree of autonomy and decision making abilities for children that arise in formal educational systems may not be occasioned in informal secluded home settings, which does little to develop the students overall personality.

Another area of uncertainty that may arise would be in terms of career prospects of students who have undergone informal occupational training, or those who do not have institutional backing while furthering their career prospects. This is a major uncertainty in that the prospects of institutional settings offer better career prospects than informal studies.

Elements of Reasoning

There are eight elements of reasoning: First is Point of View (POV) in which every issue begins. This is followed by Purpose, where one starts asking reflective questions and integrates critical thinking. The third, Question at Issue are problem-solving questions. Assumptions follow, which are the building blocks of critical thinking. Implications and Consequences allow one to go farther than the limits of reflective reasoning. Then there is Information, which intrinsically means knowing what data is relevant to the issue. Concepts pertain to the understanding of the issue. Lastly, Conclusions/Interpretations would literally mean interpreting the information before conclusions are drawn.

My Viewpoint

My Point of View is that there is a better way of educating children. Of course, it is but elementary to ask, “What are these ways?” To identify it, there are two ways of educating children. The next question pops up: “After defining the two ways, are these enough for me to draw my study on?” With such queries, I then draw out the problems. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each way? By comparing the pros and cons of both ways, I arrive at the assumption that there is not just one way of providing the best education. True, there are environmental issues in formal schooling, but informal schooling poses a challenge too when the parents are in discord. Yes, informal schooling provides a safe environment of learning for the children, yet formal schooling teaches a child how to assimilate effectively into society without being overly protected, which leaves scope for developing independence. Parents know their children well enough to recognize what subject(s) to focus on, yet the actual requirements provided by formal schooling enhances the child’s learning to a state wherein he or she can be competitive in the real world. Formal schooling lacks the quality, one-to-one approach. However, informal schooling lacks a standardized set of curriculum to measure a child’s performance. Implications and Consequences of the problem have driven me to further my research and thus I discovered that though school and domestic violence are issues; both may not be integrated into the problem at hand. Why is that so? Studies done by The National Youth Violence Prevention Center show that “school-associated violent deaths remain rare events” while the statistics pertaining to domestic violence and its relationship to home-schooled students is not enough. Thus, the relevant issues for my problem are: environmental influences, set standards, social effects, and individual learning.

Conclusion with Solutions and Limitations

With all these information placed side by side in an argument, the true Concept of the issue arose: “Which areas of the two ways provided may best serve the education of children?”


It would well be hazardous to take a guess on which systems works best and environmental, socio-economic impacts as well as prevalent study cultures do play important roles in determining the optimum and best available choice.

Besides, it is also seen that mindsets of children and that of parents/guardians are also important adjudicators in matters of child education. In any case, it is also seen that even formal education does need to be substantiated with informal home education in the present setting, and one of the main reason for formal education is to develop positive traits and social skills, interacting with public and creating and sustaining social behaviors.

Thus a multifaceted solution could be in terms of the fact that both the physical and mental development of children is important. For this both formal, which takes care of personality development, social skills, extra curricular activities and learning new areas through two way communication between teacher and the taught is established.

Home study, on the other hand, takes care of the intellectual development and gaining high grades in a non-competitive environment.

Both are necessary for the child’s inherent physical, intellectual and moral development, but the choice of whether to move in for formal, informal or mixture of both formal and informal study, are important.

The choice would largely vest upon the pupils themselves and their carers, immediate environment and the impact of several constrains, direct or indirect.

Based on the evidence available, it is seen that the controversy of being formally educated in an institutional setting is quite different from that offered by non-institutional setting. Moreover, it has also be explained about the merits and demerits of both the systems.

Inferring from available data, I believe that the best way of educating children would be to employ the good points of both formal and informal schooling. There can be no exact measures to fully protect a child from the negative influences of the outside world, but a parent or school can provide lessons on dealing with most of the challenges in a positive manner.


If the education is opted to be at home, then the parents must adhere to a standardized curriculum laid out by the state. They should also commune with schools to have their children participate in its functions or if in the case of formal schooling, the schools should assure that the parents play some significant role in the selection of the most appropriate mediums to utilize during interactive sessions.

Final Answer to the research question

In the end, I firmly believe in this: The home is the first step in inculcating the value of education. Formal schooling provides the enhancement to make the child become a better individual, yet the home should provide constant support through it all. It is widely believed that formal settings could only reinforce the innate and inherent qualities and skills in children, especially with regard to their level of IQs, social skills, spatial and numerical abilities, communicative and writing skills, etc. These stem from the early lessons imparted by guardians, parents and counselors. The formal education just helps to improve and build upon latent skills and talents of children, and where possible learn new skills and talents. Besides it is also necessary that innate skill developments start from young age and are reinforced through education and social interactions.

It could be seen that the best solution could be in terms of a combination of formal and informal learning skills, preferably informal at the primary, and pre-primary stages, and at the secondary, post secondary and tertiary levels, it may be based upon structured institutional learning. This way the benefits of both institutional and non-institutional learning are ensured for the betterment of individuals and their future.


Bowditch, G.. (2003).Home Schooling Deprives Children of Important Social Lessons. Home Schooling. Cindy Mur (ed.). San Diego: Greenhaven Press.

DeVoe, J., Peter, K., Kaufman, P., Ruddy, S., et al. (2002). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2002. U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. NCES 2003-009/NCJ 196753. Washington, DC: 2002, p. 18. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Fast Response Survey System, “Principal/School Disciplinarian Survey on School Violence,” FRSS 63, 1997.

School Violence Fact Sheet. (2008). National Youth Violence prevention Resource Center. Web.

Week 2- The elements of reasoning and standards of critical thinking. (2008). WGU: Western Governors University. Web.

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