You should be prepared to answer each of the following questions with a fully-developed paragraph that includes references to the texts and videos we’ve discussed, our notes, and your insight. On the test itself, you will answer five questions from a list of six.

  1. Using at least three sources, one of whom should be Socrates, explain why self-education is more effective than the current system of public education.
  2. In his article “Dehumanized,” Mark Slouka argues that our current educational focus undermines civic life in America. What is his problem with current educational trends and what does he propose to do to reverse them?
  3. Explain how Paolo Freire’s “subject-object” metaphor drives his beliefs about education.
  4. How, according to Jonathan Kozol, does the belief in “adequacy” undermine the promise of Brown v. Board of Education? Try to specifically address issues related to taxes and accountability.
  5. Kenneth Robinson discussed the futility of trying to prepare students for specific jobs. Why does he believe this cannot succeed?
  6. How can the work of Eric Hanushek from Stanford improve American schools?
  7. Explain Paolo Freire’s banking metaphor and summarize why he thinks it damages students.
  8. John Taylor Gatto offered a critique of public schools centered on the idea that schools discourage individuality, freedom, and maturity. Explain his view of these arguments.
  9. Using the film Waiting for Superman and at least two other sources, make the argument that American schools are failing the poorest of students.
  10. Defend, refute, or qualify Jonathan Kozol’s argument that American schools are engaging in “apartheid.”

 

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