Hello I'm practicing for English Composition with Essay for CLEP.
Here's the assignment:
'THE OLD SAYING, "EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST TEACHER", SUGGESTS TO SOME PEOPLE THAT THEY WOULD BENEFIT MORE FROM LEARNING ON THE JOB OR IN THE WORLD THAN FROM FORMAL EDUCATION IN THE SCHOOL OR COLLEGE CLASSROOM.
WRITE AN ESSAY IN WHICH YOU DISCUSS THE RELATIVE VALUES OF EXPERIENTIAL AND ACADEMIC LEARNING. SUPPORT YOUR VIEW WITH SPECIFIC EXAMPLES FROM HISTORY, CURRENT EVENTS, OR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
Any corrections or help would be great, thanks, Tanner
"Experience is the best teacher." Although this theory is well known by a large percentage of the world, there is quite a division over the truth of the statement. Perhaps, this is due in part to the way in which our society places heavy emphasis on formal education.
Experience in itself, is the oldest teacher on the planet. You can travel to the most underdeveloped societies, lacking any form of school or academic institution, and you will find that old schoolteacher – experience – busy at work, as he has been for ages. Some of the most simple and important lessons of all can only be learned through the hard knocks of experience. At the tender age of four, I remember jumping into our in-ground swimming pool, backwards. The result can well be imagined: a bloody chin, 6 stitches and an experiential lesson in cause-and-effect that no textbook could have instilled.
You only have to think back upon past American presidents, and the argument over 'experience is the best teacher' has been played out over and over. For example, at the end of the tragic Civil War, the populace was desperately looking for answers following an unprofitable reconstruction under Johnson. Who did America turn to? The successful General Grant, who had led the North into victories that ended the bloody war. "His experience has taught him what it will take to guide this country", must have been the thought in the minds of thousands of Americans, as they flocked to the voting booths. And experience had been a good teacher, in shaping the Soldier Grant into the General Grant. But the shoes of the presidency had some laces which Grant had never thought about, much less experienced. Experience, like any teacher has it's shortcomings.
Though no human being can escape experience, many of us have been exposed to education by academics. In academics and book study there is opportunity to learn, in a short time and space, what might take years or decades to acquire by experience alone. In reading and formal education we can benefit from the experience and views of thousands of contributors. Last year my wife was diagnosed with Lymes Disease. I had only met three or four people with the disease. They say "Knowledge is power", and I sure lacked the power to even start on the road of helping my wife through this difficult time. In the four months preceding her diagnosis I immersed myself in studies and articles on Lyme Disease and its cure. Experience alone, wasn't the best teacher. Not only because I didn't have any experience, but also because by studying and reading I was able to glean from thousands of people who had knowledge on the subject.
Although often our first teacher, experience alone may not stand the test in certain situations. The student or person who can harness both experience and formal education will be the wisest. Perhaps the theory should be altered to say: "Experience is the most universal teacher."