4 Pages

"I just wanna be average"

Course Number: EDUC 3013, Spring 2007

College/University: Colorado

Word Count: 1115

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The Flaws of Education 2/14/2006 Final The school system has a major impact on a students motivation to learn and push themselves throughout his or her life. Through the article I just Wanna be Average, Mike Rose shows the effects on students of a school system which does not give them the tools to succeed. The failure to provide any support to the students, valuable lessons, or teacher role models produces...

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Flaws The of Education 2/14/2006 Final The school system has a major impact on a students motivation to learn and push themselves throughout his or her life. Through the article I just Wanna be Average, Mike Rose shows the effects on students of a school system which does not give them the tools to succeed. The failure to provide any support to the students, valuable lessons, or teacher role models produces unmotivated students who never reach their full potential and thus become frustrated with their lives. Rose demonstrates the effects of these flaws in the education system through his experiences in both the vocational and college tracks and through the descriptions of his educators. It is very clear through Roses experience that the vocational system is designed for students who the school has given up on and written off. The student is determined to have little capability, which the school bases only on a placement test. The school therefore gives the student no hope to do well in school. Rose argues that it is difficult for students placed in this path with these beliefs to honestly believe that they will ever prove the system wrong. He even states that this is virtually impossible(187) to do. The students are expected to become only average if even that, so they do not push themselves to become anything more than expected. Roses experience in both the vocational system and the college path show the altered desire to learn and also the different quality of education. In the college track students and teachers were treated and acted differently. Instead of being bored in lectures, Rose was intrigued throughout class by being forced to learn challenging new concepts. Students were treated differently too; It came to this: the troublemaker would look foolish rather than daring,(190). The better disciplined teachers, and quality of education make the college track a better place and motivator to learn. Rose argues it is hard for students to become engaged in a program, which is considered to be a dead end(183) and a dumping ground for the disaffected(185), yet shows how easy it is to become engaged when the system puts effort into the students. Instead of providing students the knowledge to become the best they can be, the Voc. Ed program holds them back and provides them no interest in succeeding. The failure to provide students with an adequate learning environment creates undereducated students. Students cannot be expected to believe in themselves when their school system and teachers do not. Teachers should be looked up to for their knowledge in a subject, especially when they are the vital connection between knowledge and the students. As Rose describes his teachers, it is evident that he finds they create major problems in the system. Roses sophomore English teacher, Mr. Mitropetros, had little training in English and therefore had the students read Julius Caesar out loud over and over for the entire semester(184). The teachers know very little about teaching and are far from experts in their subjects, which make students bored of their pointless lectures and less engaged. As Rose puts it, the teachers had no idea of how to engage the imaginations us of kids who were scuttling along at the bottom of the pond (185). This description is very different from Roses image of the College Prep teachers. He describes one of his College Prep teachers as being crafted(189) and loving to teach his heart out(189). These are the type of teachers Rose learned from. Students will float to the mark you set(185). Looking at how actively engaged Rose was through out high school, these teachers clearly did not set a high mark, if one at all. I did what I had to do to get by, and I did it with half a mind(185). Rose proves how little was learned and done in school to get by with the teachers in the program. If students are not engaged they are going to become bored, which should not be the case in an educational system. Roses teachers show the lack of quality the Voc. Ed educators have, which Rose proves fails to give students an interest in school. The educators in the school vocational system not only lacked in their ability to teach but also lacked role model qualities. The failure to provide students with exemplar teachers caused students to fail throughout school. It is not until Rose meets Jack MacFarland that he began pushing his ability. Jack MacFarland becomes an essential element in Roses success. Mr. MacFarland is the one person who expects Rose to do well. MacFarland said I would do well in his class and laid down the law about doing well in others(190). This laying down the law is the reason Rose succeeded in the end. Rose shows how helpful a guide can be in an unknown system to survive. He had someone guiding him. He provided a role model that wasnt shaped on physical prowess alone(190). Looking at Roses success in his life after Voc. Ed it shows how necessary it is for students to have this model leading them in the right direction. Mr. MacFarland is the person who made Rose pursue college, which before Rose would never have thought was possible. Mr. MacFarland set a mark for Rose, which was higher than Rose ever thought was possible, yet Rose floated to it and became very successful. This needs to be a figure steering students in the right direction to achieve their maximum potential, which was not present in the Voc. Ed program. The kids in this program were lost and confused in this vital period of their life, because they did not know what to do or what they wanted. This is a scary situation causing many students to take the easy way out and become just average. Everyone has a different learning ability, but that does not mean that they should not reach it. Roses discussion of the flaws in the education system, illustrates how these flaws are holding students back from their ability. The lack of good teachers and role models proves to be a significant factor in succeeding. Rose claims that a majority of the students failure should fall on the insufficient ways of the school system. The Voc. Ed program causes students to plateau at a level that is far lower then they are capable of. It gives up on these students and allows them to be worse then they could and should be. The problems in the school system allow students to never achieve their highest capability, which in the end is their worst flaw.

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