Some people think children should obey rules and do what teachers tell them. Others think controlled children are not prepared for adult life in the future.
Discuss both views and give your opinion.

There is an English adage that says that ‘children should be seen and not heard’, and in the field of teaching it is certainly true that polite students who obey the rules make classroom management far easier (as well as reducing ‘teacher burnout’). Yet draconian strictness that quashes individuality and expression does no favours to the child’s education for the future, and so a workable medium must be sought.

Obviously there must be a modicum of control in the learning environment: complete anarchy might sound enjoyable but it is unlikely to get much geography, mathematics or history done. Yet advocates of firm discipline sometimes go further, stating that the hierarchal structure of the classroom is in fact training for the real world where a chain of command and adhering to rules is essential. Whilst I comprehend this logic I do not feel it is the priority of the education system and comes at a cost to other, more critical facets of adulthood such as choice, responsibility and happiness.

Teaching is not the mere inculcation of knowledge and recognising one’s place; instead it concerns crafting better human beings, including those who can challenge perceived wisdom and change the world. As the saying ‘give me a boy until the age of 7, and I’ll give you the man’ alludes, a child’s nature generally continues into maturity. A questioning adult unafraid to voice personal opinions is the result of an inquisitive childhood founded on encouragement and independence rather than mere obedience.

In short, preparation for adult life comes in many forms and requires comprehending numerous skills. Discipline is important only in so much that it stops abject chaos, but the ‘formative years’ must also be just that: an opportunity to form a personality. I therefore believe that, in order to create well-rounded, independent, self-aware adults, children should be maturely guided rather than controlled and it is not for adults to enforce their opinions as doctrine and rule.