To Kill a Mockingbird

Discuss the concept of education.

Discuss the concept of education. Does Lee argue for a dominance of education in the home or institutionalized education?

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Shortly after the novel begins, Scout starts her first year at school. The educational system in Maycomb leaves much to be desired. Scout is ahead of her classmates because Atticus has taught her to read and write, and Calpurnia has even taught her script. However, once her teacher discovers this, she punishes Scout and tells her not to learn anything else at home, because her father does not know how to teach her properly. This is the first clear conflict between institutionalized education and education in the home.

Atticus clearly takes great pride in instilling a powerful sense of morality in his children. He truthfully answers whatever questions they ask, and encourages their inquisitive minds by treating them as adults and encouraging them to grow intellectually and morally as much as possible. On the other hand, Scout's teacher has a very specific understanding of what children should learn when, even if this schedule requires holding a child back. For example, when she asks Scout to write during class and Scout writes in script, she chides her and tells her that she should not be doing that for many years, because it isn't taught in school until much later. Scout feels frustrated that her teacher does not understand her and only wants to hold her back.

Scout comes to Atticus with concerns about her education and he helps her understand that she must get an education, even though she might find the process frustrating, and that he will continue to read with her and teach her at home. Clearly, Atticus understands the faults of the educational system, but also knows it is necessary for his children to pass through this system to be a part of society. However, his teaching at home, both morally and otherwise, is far more valuable to his children than anything they learn in the classroom. Scout notices this most obviously when learning about the Holocaust. Her teacher explains that such oppression of one group of people could never happen in the United States and Scout is astonished. She heard Miss Gates outside the court house during Tom Robinson's trial saying that, referring to black people, she thought it was, "time somebody taught them a lesson, they thought they was getting' way above themselves, an' the next thing they think they can do is marry us." Scout sees Miss Gates's statement about blacks in clear conflict with her statement about the equality in America.

Scout receives the majority of her education in the home, and doesn't believe school will do much for her. At the end of the novel, she notes that she has learned probably all there is to learn, except maybe algebra. Clearly, Scout understands that life experiences are the true teachers, and that Atticus has taught her more than school ever will. Clearly, Lee is expressing a lack of belief in the institutionalized educational system, and in fact suggests it might do more harm than good. Perhaps a more valuable education can be found in the home.


Any process, formal or informal that helps develop the potenialities of human beings, including their knowledge, capabilities, behaviour patterns and values. the developmental process provided by a school or other instruction that is organized chiefly for instruction and learning. the total development acquired by an individual through instruction and learning in business or official connections, the institutional instruction that the individual has had. the area of study concerned with teaching and learning, including professional teacher education.


Ume Amin Mohdamin9999@Gmail.Com

In the book To Kill a Mockingbird I believe that Lee argues for a dominance of education in the home rather than institutionalized education. The evidence she provides is found in the first half of the book.Firstly when Scout starts school in the second chapter she is much more advanced than the other children her age,due to being taught to read at a very early age by Atticus.But when she begins school her teacher,Miss Caroline Fisher in chapter 2 tells Scout to tell her father not to teach her anymore because she claimed that it would "interfere" with her reading.Also according to Scout when Miss Caroline caught her writing a letter to Dill in class Miss Caroline told Scout and I quote,"We don't write in the firstgrade,we print.You will learn to write untill you're in the third grade."End of quote.This was clearly holding back Scout and she was very upset and to make matters worst she was being bullied because of the case Atticus had with Tom Robbinson.Therefore in order to avoid having to go to school Scout started picking up the profanity of the other children with the hopes of Atticus not sending her to school.Unfortunately all she got was scolding.But in chapter 7 she was reassured about school by Jem who told herthat as she got older the better school would be and that he started of the same way,and it was not untill one reached the sixth grade that one learned anything of value.In conclusion I think that Harper Lee argues for a dominanceof education in the home rather than an institutionalized education.