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From the title, it is clear that the author’s argument is targeted at parents. He intends to explain why public education cripples ‘our kids’. In the last two paragraphs, he advises parents on how to avoid the trappings of the current education system. The aim of the article seems likely to invoke debate on the learning process, worthy to note that the author, John Taylor Gatto, is established in the teaching profession with over thirty years of experience and has won several awards. I found the article straight forward, with the author introducing his thoughts in the initial paragraphs; the middle passages explain the basis of these arguments. The conclusion makes an attempt at finding ways out.
The author begins by lamenting on the boredom he experienced together with his students during the thirty years he had been teaching. Of note is the fact that he had these experiences in both the best and the worst schools (in Manhattan), from which he derives the distaste for school learning; the difference in quality of education offered in these schools notwithstanding. He gives a valid reason on the surface, that across the whole spectrum of his students, boredom was brought about by learning the same things over and again to the point that they made no sense. They even termed the work as stupid. The students wanted to learn something real yet their teachers were not good enough at their work. From this point alone, we can derive the conclusion that students were willing to learn, it is the system that was failing. However, scouring deeper, it comes out clearly that what the students and teachers lacked was motivation; the drive to engage the learning process positively.
Gatto talks of students who exhibit rudeness and an interest in grades only, but mentions nothing about disciplined students who are willing to learn. He exhibits the gross reasoning that boredom is a common condition for teachers. This is an individual characteristic found in any other profession. Matter-of-factly, there are teachers who carry out their work with a lot of enthusiasm.
He makes a supportive distinction for education. His bone of contention is whether we need school, if the time allocated for schooling is really necessary. He supports his claim with the success of homeschoolers. He fails to point out the scale to which homeschooling can be conducted and whether every parent can afford the resources and time to conduct proper homeschooling. Further, he does not point out whether homeschooling follows the same curriculum or otherwise. A reference to American greats such as George Washington and his ilk not going through a school system is purely fallacious. These are modern .............
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