The essay has long been considered one of the standards of education. We all know that the importance of school curriculum is to help children learn, and we’ve all assumed that it accomplished this. But now, more and more schools are examining whether they should keep doing essay writing. The importance of curriculum to teachers agrees with the concept, but the educational world is split on the subject. Should schools remove essays from their curriculum? Are students better off without them, or are they the best way forward?
Pro – It Teaches Writing Skills
This is one of the main reasons given for the continuation of essays in the curriculum. Essays give students a chance to acquire writing skills, which are a necessary part of day-to-day life. There are other ways to learn these skills, of course. If essays were removed, then there would have to be extra care taken to make up for the lack of them when it came to the teaching of writing.
Con – It Takes Time
Out of all of the different kinds of homework someone can receive, essays usually take the longest. Most students will spend a great deal of time working on them. And it isn’t just the writing part: The research, particularly the kind done at a library, can be challenging, especially for those still in school, not college. Hours that are spent writing an essay could be used, as some argue, on many other projects and assignments that could help a person grasp the knowledge better. This goes hand-in-hand with the movement to get rid of homework so that students can have time just to relax.
Pro – Students Grasp the Information
One of the reasons so many classes assign essays is that it has been shown to help students perceive the information. While working on an essay, the writer learns the topic as well as all the supporting facts. Writing requires you to be able to link causes to effects, showing an understanding, rather than just rote memorization. Few assignments can claim to do the same. Shorter projects, in particular, can lead to students just parroting back information having no clue of what it means. For that reason alone, many are in favor of continuing to give essays.
Con – Plagiarism is Easy
Still, students with money can simply buy papers that they don’t want to write themselves. Plagiarism of all kinds is rampant and simple when it comes to essays. A student from the UK could easily find UK essay writing service online with a quick search. But the same essay writing services might be beyond what a low-income student could afford. Other educational options can’t be plagiarized so easily and have no such service offered, making them better choices when it comes to theft of the ideas. As more and more schools crack down on this, the essay may disappear with it.
Pro – No Extra Resources Required
Essay writing usually doesn’t require anything besides a pen and paper as well as a local (or even school) library. At least, it used to. Now, you’re more likely to need access to a computer, printer and the internet. Either way, these are all supplies and resources that students usually have ready access to, whether at home or at school. Even the most cash-strapped schools tend to have a library and a computer lab. Meanwhile, other projects could require supplies that some students, particularly those who are low-income, simply don’t have. That makes the essay a quite egalitarian choice.
Con – Not Everyone Learns Best This Way
Nowadays, we’re all aware that not everyone learns the same way. Some are visual learners, others learn better while reading. However, essays don’t really take that into account. They don’t work for many styles of learning and can be particularly distressing to those who find they work best outside of the realm of books and papers. Some schools are now offering alternative projects whenever essays are given: A diorama, a picture, a speech and the list goes on.
Pro – Our Schools are Based Around It
As stated above, essays have been a part of the school curriculum for years. Simply pulling them out would be detrimental to the system itself. Teachers have been taught that essays are crucial, and many high-level educators build their entire school year around the writing tasks that they give. This, by itself, is a justifiable reason to continue writing essays.
Con – It’s Hard On Teachers
It’s a fact: Essays are just as hard, if not harder, on teachers than they are on students. What learners write, teachers must grade. And, with very little time in the school-day available, many have to take the workload home. Not having essays to grade would make life easier on the teachers too, which is something they would certainly appreciate.
There are many good points on both sides when it comes to keeping or removing essays from the school curriculum. It is a difficult piece of homework, for both teachers and students. But it’s also a crucial part that teaches children information as well as crucial writing skills. It’s a very complex question that, as of now, has no set answer.