what education in a democracy looks like the day after a snow day

touchstones pile

As I described in my previous post, last Thursday in my Writing in the Disciplines class, my students explored their touchstones as writers. I’ve written about my own touchstones elsewhere and have connected those to some broader contemporary contentions about writing instruction in the era of Common Core. But in the past week, it’s been snowing like nobody’s business, so we’re using this venue to begun a discussion via comments to this post.

We’ve been reading what Mike Rose has to say in Why School: Reclaiming Education for All of Us about the touchstones in the history of public education in our democracy. Students have been collecting what they see as the most compelling sentences in each chapter of his book. (They only get to choose one per chapter, and that’s a challenge because there are so many!)

So hey, CO301D gang,through your comments below, we’re going to build that discussion about the function of education in creating our democracy:

  1. Before you write anything, look back over all the sentences you’ve collected from the Introduction-Ch. 8 and all the passages you charted for your most recent homework for Chapters 10, 12, 13, and the Conclusion. (Remember, we skipped Chapters 9 & 11.) Try to identify some patterns or some key ideas in these sentences and passages that seem to hang together. 
  2. Then, in the Comments section, respond to these questions:
  • Take ONE sentence or a passage. What’s it nested in (i.e., what’s happening in the passage around it?)? → Where does the crux of his argument appear in the chapter in relation to the role of education in developing our democracy? What strikes you about the arc of his argument and the techniques he’s used to develop it? 
  • As you think back over all the sentences and passages you’ve collected from Why School?, what do they reveal about Rose’s view on our nation’s touchstone beliefs in the purpose of public education over time and in this moment in our history? What do you notice about HOW he builds his argument?
  • Now try to connect those touchstones to your own teaching. I know it can be a little odd to think about your day-to-day work in the classroom as playing a part in developing an educated citizenry, but students spend more of their waking hours in school than anywhere else. Given that fact, what will you DO as a teacher (as in, really specific things you will do with your students in your classroom on a moment-to-moment basis) to support them in constructing a world that you (and those that you matter in your life) can thrive in? As you write, try to do so using the kind of detail Rose uses to convey what teaching and learning look like/sound like/feel like in the classroom.

3. Once you’ve posted your comments to those questions, we’ll use them as catalysts to begin our discussion.



14 thoughts on “what education in a democracy looks like the day after a snow day

  1. 1. “We need more public talks that link education to a more decent, thoughtful, open society” (Rose, 31). In this section of the book, Rose is discussing the state of discourse about education as it stands today, and why he disagrees with it; he argues that the way we currently talk about education is limited to the job market or how it affects students’ economic futures, whereas he hopes the discourse will shift to include “appreciation for deliberation and reflection” and “the sheer power and pleasure of using our minds” (31). The arc of his argument leans toward this: the way we discuss issues in the public sphere matters, and the way we discuss education is limiting our understanding of it, and therefore limiting the potential of our education system itself.

    2. Rose definitely takes issue with how the public (or what the current political discourse) suggests the purpose of education is today, because to him it is far too limited; he argues we view education as an introduction to the job market, “job training,” so to speak, which he doesn’t say is untrue, but does argue time and time again that that is just too narrow a view to be productive, if the purpose of this discourse about our education system is to make it better. He builds this argument primarily through people and their stories, mainly non-traditional learners and their experiences with how the system works against them, and how we can broaden our conversation (and therefore our efforts) to make it work for them.

    3. Like Rose, I revel in how humbling working with people can be (Rose, 3). In my classroom, I hope to build relationships with each of my students as individuals, because I believe this is the best way to help them achieve as learners. I want to establish a kind of journaling time/reader’s response at the beginning of my class, so my students can take 10 minutes everyday to reflect on the day/weekend prior to it, or what they’ve been reading for independent study, or an assignment they have coming up, or even just what’s going on in their lives. This might be a less intimidating way to introduce themselves to me, and hopefully I’ll get a sense of their interior lives that will better equip me for educating them in content, and preparing them for the lives they will lead when they step out of my classroom doors.

  2. anathibs says:

    Why School? A question many of us have probably asked ourselves in the day to day commute from our warm beds to the unforgiving cold of our desks. We listen to teachers go on and on about how the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, or some other fact that they try to drill into us in the short time we’re in their clutches. Clutches, this is not to say that the students are particularly trapped in any sense, but as an adjective towards the public school system after the “no child gets left behind act” it fits. With test scores as a defining factor of worth teaching went out the window. Memorization for a test that determines whether or not the art department stays open or the gym doesn’t get shut down, that’s not learning. America forgot how to teach for almost 12 years, all of which students were forced to copy down information, colleges took their test grades as a mark of their worth. Everyone in general, measured children by their ability to test well. Perhaps that’s where my own problems started, as a student in a world where the only thing that matters is the grade you get on the ACT, PSAT, CSAP tests, etc. you begin to wonder if thats all there is. Getting into college where you’re expected to learn and carry the information into the next year after going through years of “this will be on this test and this is how you take it” is a wonder. Mike Rose mentions, “There has been a dramatic increase in the involvement of large, private foundations in school reform. And some of this foundational involvement drives a particular ideology that might not mesh with the general public good.”, The ideology being what do the scores look like? As an instructor stepping into a newly reformed education system post no child left behind, I will spend time stressing that tests and grades do NOT define the worth or intellect of an individual. They just determine how well they can sit, listen to instruction, take notes and regurgitate that onto a piece of paper. How do we know if they retain it post finals? In regards to the future, I have no idea what type of education system I will immediately be strolling into, but I refuse to let my students judge themselves based on a letter or a number on a page. I believe that it takes two in this situation, if I don’t judge them, they won’t judge themselves. For me as long as they can demonstrate that they learned and understood what it was that they were learning, well that’s all any teacher could ever hope to achieve. I myself would be very proud to call them my students.

  3. The sentence that I chose is from Chapter 10, Re-mediating Remediation. Rose claims that “writing filled with grammatical error does not preclude engagement with sophisticated intellectual material, and that error can be addressed effectively as one is engaging in such material” (166). To me, this is a strong statement that Rose makes, and it is important because it contradicts what we as a society or democracy often think about literacy and language. This claim is made towards the end of Rose’s story discussing the struggles that Kevin has with his writing. Though Rose know’s that Kevin won’t thrive if thrown in a high level college course without mastery of the fundamentals, he also makes the claim that fundamentals can be addressed (and even be a focus) when students are engaged in sophisticated material. Rose’s use of personal story and testimony is interesting. He often doesn’t make a claim until after the reader understands a real life context for which the claim is relevant. The claim I chose doesn’t even appear until about five pages into the chapter. Rose quite masterfully plants personal and testimonial evidence into the readers mind before the claim is made.
    When I look at all of the sentences I’ve chosen out of Rose’s “Why School,” I forced to notice one of the points he addresses in the Afterword of “why School,” – be skeptical of the big idea. Whether the issue is of the accessibility of higher education, standardized testing, or the ways we teach fundamentals, Rose seems to question our learned, preconceived ideas of education. Other people in the world have a vastly different perspective on education than many of us, and Rose helps address those perspectives in a way that invites social change, and a shift in the mindset’s of everyone.

  4. blogessor says:

    Okay, so yes it’s a little weird to respond to your own prompts, but I want to think about the remediation chapter that I re-read in preparation for today’s class. The chapter starts on p. 163, and yet the crux of his argument (or at least one of his main claims) doesn’t really appear until p. 172 when he says:

    “But there is, I think, a broader, important issue here, and that is the place of remediation in a nation that prides itself as being a ‘second-chance’ society. This holds true on both a macrosystems level and on the level of the individual.”

    If ever there was a thesis about the place of remediation (which is the focus of the whole chapter), this is it, the kind of sentence you’d expect to see in the opening paragraph of a traditional argument, and yet again, it doesn’t appear until 9 whole pages in. What happens BEFORE this?: 1) an anecdote about Kevin, a student in a remedial writing course Rose taught –> a description of the class he and his colleagues developed and why (some references to research here) 3) a narrative describing his personal experiences in a remedial program as a student 4) a more general discussion of current (usually negative) views on remedial programs. THEN THERE’S THE QUOTATION ABOVE. Then he moves on the “way things should be” in remedial education at universities. He takes a problem/solution approach and finishes up by connecting this view to his overall touchstone: that if we are a culture who believes in second chances — and this has been fundamental to our identity as a nation — then we have to look at the individual and at remediation differently, as a “key mechanism in a democratic model of human educational development” (p. 174).

    When I think about how that looks on a daily basis for me as a teacher, I realize that, more often than not, I don’t see a class full of students. I see myself pulling a chair up beside ONE student (or when I was a high school teacher, kneeling down next to the student’s desk). I see a piece of writing between us. We talk about how it’s going, about what the problem or challenge or question is, and about what she’s been doing to figure it out. Sometimes one of us will point to a section of the paper to really get into an example. Then we’ll look up and talk more about what she’ll do next. I’ll offer suggestions and ask questions that I think will help. If all goes well, we’ll finish the conversation with a plan. She’ll say out loud for herself–and maybe even make some notes, or I will on a sticky note, a sort of little prescription like you used to get at the doctor’s office–about how she’ll move forward to do what she wants her writing to do.

    That’s what one little moment of education in a democracy looks like to me.

  5. hailey5980 says:

    The passage that I will be using is on page 31 of “Why School?” The passage is as follows: “So it becomes possible for us to affirm that the most meaningful evidence of learning is a score on a standardized test, or to reframe the public good in favor of fierce and unequal competition for a particular kind of academic honor.”
    This argument appears about five pages into the chapter itself! Before this passage, Rose does a lot refute traditional educational standards. He writes a lot about his ideas on how to better engage todays students in education. Rose over and over throughout this passage, and his entire book, make it known that standardized testing should no longer be the major deciding factor in if a student will pass or fail.
    Rose used a lot of techniques before this passage to develop his argument. The bulk of the techniques used in this chapter is logos. Rose is obviously a well educated man who has done loads of research involving schools, and today’s educational standards. As a reader, after looking at all of the information that Rose has about these topics, I am left with little to no choice on whether he is credible or not (which is the main reason why I say logos was his strongest technique).
    I think the main theme throughout “Why School?” is the fact that today’s educational system needs some renovations. Over and over, throughout the use of stories whether personal or other people’s, Rose proves that traditional style learning is no longer the bulk of today’s education. Rose proves that now many students take risks like going back to school after years and years of being told that you would no longer complete a college degree. Or even though you do not have all the odds in your favor, an education is still possible.
    In my own teaching, my ultimate goal would be to move away from the standardized multiple choice test style of proving knowledge. Since there are so many different ways in which people learn, I feel that it is only fair to honor them to the best of my ability. Yes, I do know that there are state and national standards that I will have to follow, but as for a day to day basis I have multiple ideas on how students can portray what they have learned that does not involve test taking.
    For me as a learner, I would prefer to write and essay or prepare and present a speech of everything that I have learned. I could know exactly what I learned all semester, but if I had to take a test on it, I would more than likely fail. However, if I was given the option to write an essay or prepare a speech, I would’ve passed with flying colors.
    Mainly, when I become a teacher, I would like to allow students a little more freedom to express how and what they have learned.

  6. Angela Gerardi says:

    In Chapter 6 of *Why School?*, Mike Rose states, “In our schools and industries as well as in our informal talk, we tend to label entire categories of work and the people associated with them in ways that overgeneralize, erase cognitive variability, and diminish whole traditions of human activity.” I agree with him completely, and I believe this is why we sometimes have trouble identifying as youth and students our strengths and weaknesses, if they don’t line up with the idealized strengths and ideals of our society, like roles that doctors, lawyers, politicians, finance experts represent. I do think that we have come to appreciate the mechanized society that we live in today, and under appreciate all the laborers and labors that go into our daily consumption and markets. For example, the food that appears on our plate when we go out to eat, or even when we go shopping in the market; it is easy to forget about all the labors that went into that meal, from the farmers to the pickers to the truck drivers to the store managers to the produce workers in the grocery store to the clerk, or if prepared, to the sous chef, chef, waiter, dishwasher. Each of those labors are essential in receiving what we need in an easy and convenient manner, although our society doesn’t always appreciate categories of work that don’t include the high technical sciences that we have come to idealize. I agree that it is in those traditions, of skilled laborers, that our society has come to flourish from the medieval ages to the industrial age. Those were the backbone of our ancestors’ society.

    As a teacher, I would have students take time to write about three people that they most admire in their life, no matter their profession or level of education.

    Then I would have them explore more about that person in writing, by describing their strengths, in terms of character and skills.

    Then I would have them explore more about their background, their occupation, and the history of their family, and the occupations of that person’s parents and grandparents. This would obviously take some research if that person was not a direct relative, or even if they were.

    I would then have them sum up what they thought were the admirable qualities and skill sets of that person, including socio-emotional, economic, cultural, technical, artistic.

    After all this exploration and research, I would have them now share with the class their findings, and again restate what they admired most about that person/s.

    The students in groups could then make a graph of skills including all these varied skills, and realize how varied and diverse, hopefully, admirable people and laborers were. And in turn, discuss Mike Rose’s idea of traditions of human activity, and cognitive variability.

    We could then explore what each student perceives as their interest and area of study, and see how varied and diverse the class’ overall interests and categories were.

  7. In the introductory chapter of Mike Rose’s “Why School?” he presents the idea he wants his readers to be considering throughout his entire book. He states, “The kinds of opportunity we make available are profoundly affected by what we think education is for, by our beliefs about intelligence, and by the way we conceive public responsibility” (Rose 7). Throughout reading his book, I would continually revisit this statement. Every topic explored in “Why School?” from Standardized testing to Remedial courses relates back to three questions: How do our ideas about public education cultivate a societal belief that we are a country of opportunity and second chances? What do define as being “educated”? and What is our cultural definition of public responsibility?
    Rose seems to suggest that our public schools, as well as our public institutions as a whole, function in accordance to how our society values them. If school if viewed as solely a way to get from childhood into a paying career, it is going to be treated as such. In reality, school serves a wide array of public functions, including producing informed voters, and teaching people the value of continual learning. If we treat public education as job training, or as an art that can be measure by a multiple choice test, we are limiting student potential and boxing in the broad definition of the human experience. Throughout his book, Mike Rose suggests the different problems and successes our public education are all inter-connected, and stem from our society attempting to compartmentalize what it means to be an educated citizen.
    In my own classroom, I am going to work to broaden the definition of intelligence and education for my students, I will encourage them to open their minds up to seeking not just an “A”, but fulfillment in expanding their knowledge and figuring out how they can contribute to society. I will focus on helping students discover what it means to develop and expand on their own thoughts instead of working to fill a square of receiving class credit. If more teachers encouraged students to think of learning in different ways, there might be a societal shift in how we define and value public education.

  8. krissanixson says:

    In Chapter 6 Rose says, “I wonder though, if our collective anxiety is distracting us from, even blinding us to, a wide range of behaviors and values that are constructive, engaged, and laudable, and, in fact, are dearly sought in our national assays of young people’s lives,” p.99-100. This quote has been built up to by Rose describing the state of national conversation surrounding today’s youth, and how they lack skills viewed as essential for a functioning society and work force. He precedes the quote with the idea that older generations view today’s youth as dysfunctional and foreign. This quote acts as an introduction for his main idea of the chapter where he includes personal examples and studies to support the idea that the skills of the new generation are not valueless.

    Rose’s view on national touchstones and values on public education are portrayed in his book as highly valuing the potential of the individual. He contends that public policy does require generalizations at times when assessing the situations of poverty and deprivation, but ultimately society should look at the skills and potential of students rather than focusing on their weaknesses. His personal accounts convey touchstone moments surrounding students realizing their potential, talents, or interests in an educational setting. He builds his argument with multiple personal examples of people he’s taught, influenced, or conversed with in situations representing dilemmas of education.

    As a teacher I will try to create an environment conducive to self-discovery and fostering of potential, rather than a repetitive cycle of monotonous work. I will address the personal interests of students and attempt to personalize my teaching methods to best fit the needs and talents of my students. I will be conscious of extra challenges my students might be facing, and focus on developing their strengths rather than getting stuck on their weaknesses.

  9. Beth Campbell says:

    While all of “Why School?” by Mike Rose offers many insights into the American education system and how it operates, I enjoyed his arguments concerning standardized testing in Chapter Three. On page 47, after extensive comparisons between the Bush Administration’s No Child Left Behind Act and the Obama Administration’s Race to the Top incentive, Rose claims that “Even if NCLB [No Child Left Behind] is not finally reauthorized, the impulses and principles represented by it, and that are embedded in Race to the Top, will be part of educational policy for the foreseeable future.” Rose dives right in to the controversy surrounding these two policies. Both instigate standardized testing in their own ways, and, while Race to the Top claims to be better and easier to implement than NCLB, are based on the same principles. Standardized testing, while appealing on paper and easy to comprehend, essentially becomes a cop-out for real learning. Legislation regulates our education system, and not always for the better, often creating an environment in schools that is geared toward beating the test and gaining funding rather that focusing on the learning and comprehension of the students. Rose claims throughout the chapter that high test scores will be, and often are, the byproduct of higher learning. It is when schools begin to teach to the test that our classrooms begin to fall apart. The legislation isn’t going anywhere, so we have to learn how to balance a quality education for our students with governmental standards. Throughout his argument, Rose uses statistics intertwined with personal testimonials to make his point. This makes the numbers and all the legal jargon, which usually bores an audience, easier to comprehend. Writing about legislation can be very dry, but Rose uses facts as well as anecdotes to hold the reader’s attention and make his point. He concludes his argument by making it personal, by encouraging us to see our students as individuals with needs and expectations. He humanizes the numbers and strikes a personal chord with the audience.
    Rose, throughout the novel, shows how our society has become more about the commerce and less about the advancement of our nation as a whole. He calls for us to return to the original purpose of education, which has essentially been lost. That purpose is to produce educated and intelligent citizens who can function in and advance a successful democracy. Voting requires intelligence, debate demands learning. Democracy centers on these ideas and without ever being educated with that goal in mind, how can we expect our nation to function? Rose makes the argument personal. He sometimes takes a little while to get to his point, but leading up to it, he uses stories and facts that will strike the audience. He appeals to the human side of the audience as well as stating logical and rational facts. By the end of the novel, I personally felt like I had been slapped with cold reality, but I appreciated it. He builds his argument through real life experiences, and that makes the argument as a whole easier to swallow.
    As I look to the future of my own classroom, I can almost hear Rose in the back of my head, saying to make it about the students. I am not there to get great test scores. Those will come on their own. I am not there to gain funding. That will come with success. My job as a teacher is to help my students pursue a well-rounded education. I need to focus on the student, not the test or the legislation. I need to consider all the needs of students and adjust my teaching accordingly. The classroom is the birthplace of our society. I need to help provide a safe and strong environment for that to be successful.

  10. sbragg99 says:

    Are you Colton ?

    You are being asked to login because cmyhre@rams.colostate.edu is used by an account you are not logged into now.
    By logging in you’ll post the following comment to what education in a democracy looks like the day after a snow day:

    “But what I want to consider is how this economic focus, blended with the technology of large-scale assessment can restrict our sense of what school ought to be about: the full sweep of growth and development, for both individuals and for a pluralistic democracy” (pg. 28).

    In the chapter Rose is discussing the purpose of school, and how American culture has chosen to focus on economic reasons rather than social, moral, cognitive, democratic, or other reasons. Rose introduces his ideas in this sentence, asking the reader to question the purpose behind their own education and what the purpose of modern education should be. Throughout the rest of the chapter Rose keeps bringing up various ideas for what school should be about and what the purpose behind education is, it isn’t until the final few paragraphs that Rose finally makes a definitive statement about how he feels about the purpose of school. I think that is was very wise of him to offer up all of the alternatives and ideas for the purpose of school before making his choice. This way he can lead the reader through the pros and cons of each idea, before finally nailing home why our economic focus leaves children behind.

    Rose believes that education is for everybody and that it is our job, not just as educators, but as American citizens, to reform our education system so that it is accessible by and considers the various needs and backgrounds of all its learners, not just the majority or a select few. Rose seems to feel that the purpose of education is two-fold, for self-edification and growth, and to better society, not necessarily in a democratic way, but in a way that takes into account the diversity of our nation and that reflects our values as a society, not as a vocal majority or minority. Rose tends to build his arguments slowly. In fact it doesn’t ever feel like he take a solid stance or pushes one particular point to the front of his arguments, instead he carefully guides the reader through anecdotes and mini-lessons on American education that lead the reader to a point where they can make their own well-informed decision about what THEY think the purpose of education should/could be. It is worth noting that although Rose never pushes you to a certain decision or stance, his writing is very persuasive and more often than not, as a reader, you find yourself agreeing with him and his feelings towards different aspects of education. He just does a very good job of making it seem like you as the reader, are doing all the work. When he does take a definitive stance, it is usually at the end of the chapter, after all evidence to and for the contrary has been presented and evaluated by himself and the reader.

    As a teacher it can be incredibly difficult to capture the scope and range of diversity in a classroom, but that’s our job. As teachers, we are here to provide education in various subjects, as well as education in thinking, social, ethical/moral, vocational, and life skills. Unfortunately many schools, classrooms, and teachers are unable or unwilling to provide their students with the resources and time necessary to acquire these varied skills. In teaching an English curriculum I will incorporate lessons, ideas, skills, and styles from other subjects, lifestyles, backgrounds, and skill-sets that complement and relate to our classroom work. These lessons and materials will provide students with a diverse set of skills and strategies to handle social, mental, and physical activities on their own. School needs to be about more than academic rigor. As citizens and as people we are more than our academic knowledge. As teachers it is our job to teach more than vocabulary and mathematical formula, it is our job to teach students how to thrive and succeed on their own in our varied, diverse, and ever-changing world.

  11. Lauren McCrillis says:

    Chapter 12 of “Why School?” talks about how the poor are treated in the education system and society as a whole. One line that really reached out to my heart was during a conversation Rose was having with a woman named Joanie, where she confides in him and says: “When you’re shunned by society, it’s awful. Nobody wants you” (Rose, 186). The techniques he is using to develop his argument in this chapter are the use of personal stories and statistics, which work together very nicely to prove his point. Rose is right, we as humans tell so many “poor” members of society to pull it together, to go out and make something of themselves, but we also make it extremely difficult for them to do so, maybe without even noticing it. We don’t nessecarily bring them down, but we sure don’t encourage or support them with anythi other than petty words either. I enjoyed reading all of Rose’s arguments in this book because he does it in such a unique manner, not sticking to the traditional methods. Hearing personal stories as an introduction to a new chapter most definetly makes the subject more intriguing to me as a reader. I think there are many students who come from lower-income type families than we realize. They come to school, yet they may not have money for new clothes, lunches, or even books – so of course they don’t want to tell anyone about it. They want to be like all the other students and blend in, and from my own personal experience in local public schools, they have gotten fairly good at hiding their own financial/home life. I think that students with situations like that should know that the school they are attending will do nothing but help them. They shouldn’t have to hide it, they should be able to come to their teachers for help. When I am looking at my classroom, I want to get to know each student personally and help in any way that I can. If that means helping a student become eligible for free lunches in the cafeteria, helping them acquire a book they need for a class, or simply just being there for them to talk to, I want do all that I can.

  12. In chapter twelve of Rose’s book titled, “The Inner Life of the Poor”, he makes a point to speak on behalf of the people who seem to be “absent” when policies are created for public education. I found the bulk of his argument to be about fourteen pages into the chapter. His claim serves to criticize the word “public” in the term public education. Rose questions how the term public can be used if education systems leave out a group of people who are just as a part of the community as the rest. In relation to the role of education Rose stresses this argument to highlight the need for, specifically community colleges, to focus their efforts. To utilize their resources effectively. He builds his argument by starting with the need for awareness. Rose argues how digging deeper into the lives of the poor—not just by their financial struggles, but their passions, smarts, motivations—would be a massive starting point. After he narrates personal stories about himself being involved in the lives of poor people, he makes his claim, and then he provides tangible ideas to practice improving community colleges.

    As a future teacher it is crucial to be aware. To see each kid not for their financial state or the grades on their papers and tests; but, to see their passions and what sets their heart on fire. To celebrate their desires in a way which will empower them.

  13. Anna Arcuri says:

    The passage that I chose is from the very beginning of Chapter 10, “Kevin had a story similar … Ben Franklin’s Autobiography.” (163-166). This story of this man Kevin has set up the rest of the chapter with information and a valid testimony about the benefits and necessity of remedial education. This passage also leads into the argument of this chapter which is, remedial education does work and this opportunity should be taken! I personally agree with Rose that remedial education is something that should not be over looked or looked down upon in anyway. Rose gives this story meaning by leading the reading through a step-by-step process of why remedial education can be/is very useful.

    Through the sentences and passages I gathered, I feel like Rose points out a lot of things public education and societies view on public education is missing. The very first chapter was simply about the issues of public education not being fully transparent and present to everyone outside of the government. Rose has a very different way of building up his arguments; he likes to give very important facts that are backed up by research, share many personal stories, and then somehow in the midst of those two, he has presented an argument without ever actually stating it is an “argument”.

    Since children spend most of their time in school, shouldn’t school be a place they would like to be? Students can get physically and emotionally sick just from thinking about school in the morning and that is something I hope my students never feel. I want my students to look forward to coming into my classroom, and one way to do this is to develop a space that is surrounded with creativity. Whatever that means to them, whether it is following a strict outline or writing something completely new.

  14. syslas says:

    1. The passage that I have chosen to discuss is from chapter ten, “There have to be mechanisms in an educational system as vast, complex, and flawed as ours to remedy the system’s failures…though it is evident in the attitude of some community college faculty in the traditional liberal arts and sciences” (172-173). Rose is discussing remedial education and education practices. Before this passage, he is talking about a student who didn’t do well in high school and wasn’t going to succeed in college if there was not a new way to teach. He then goes on to discuss the importance of remediation. I chose this passage because I agree with the message that Rose is discussing. I agree that colleges and all education systems should focus more on new ways to teach students and be more encouraging of educators to take chances, even if they fail, with their methods of teaching.

    2. Throughout Rose’s book, he speaks of the education system as if it is in a downward spiral. I somewhat agree. I like his points about not focusing our education purely on testing. He speaks a lot about human experience in relation to the education system and he touches a lot on the discouragement students feel in this system. I don’t necessarily think the education system is in a downward spiral, but I do think that the system needs to improve greatly to produce successful students and graduates.

    3. In my classroom, I want to show my students the importance of tests as check ups for knowledge. I do not want to teach students just how to pass a test. I want my students to be educated and I want my students to have the critical thinking skills to appreciate testing as a knowledge check up. I want to convey the ideas that a bad score on a standardized test does not necessarily mean my students are not smart.

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