Ever since the 1950’s this country has exploded with the desire to break the mold and celebrate individuality. So why then does the educational system still punish us for not fitting in? Both John Taylor Gatto and Reg Weaver feature this question in their writings, but each have their own strategies for fixing the dilemma. Gatto focuses more on getting the reader to realize that the system is solely set up with the desire to make society easier to manage. Weaver on the other hand, talks more about the increased emphasis on standardized testing. Both agree though that the system is too broad, and set up much too similar to a factory line. According to these two authors, celebrating individuality is the key to effectively educating the youth such that they will actually learn to break the mold and get a chance to acquire success. In Gatto’s essay, Against School, he brings to his readers’ attentions what he thinks are the utmost problems with our educational system. He believes more than anything that there is too much structure, and not enough freedom. He says that instead of forced schooling, maybe homeschooling has the right idea. Students should be able to focus more on what they want to do instead of having a set list of core requirements to attend to throughout their educational career. He also brings up another major point when he says, “We have been taught in this country to think of ‘success’ as synonymous with, or at least dependent upon, ‘schooling’” (Gatto 25). Why should success be determined by how much schooling we have had and how many years of education we have survived? Gatto thinks that the quantity of schooling a child has gone through is not an appropriate way to determine our achievements. Lots of people around the world have made it big without even stepping foot in a public school. According to Collins World English Dictionary the definition of success is, “the favorable outcome of something attempted” (“Collins”). So why is it that we focus all of our attention to grades and everything else that comes with forced schooling? Why don’t we just celebrate a student’s desire to learn more? According to Gatto, the educational system should encourage students to focus on subjects that interest them, so that they have a better chance of success. Weaver’s essay focuses on the problems with the “one-size-fits all approach” that the system prides itself in. The biggest issue he addresses is standardized testing and how the system focuses the majority of its attention on it. He can not stand that schools are taking away all of the things he thinks are the most important for students to learn to make way for more and more testing. On top of that they expect every student to have the exact same style and pace to learning, and if you do not make the cut then you are not as successful as the others. He backs his feelings up when he says, “An astonishing 155 elementary and middle schools and 88 high schools were identified as ‘in need of improvement’ under the federal law” (Weaver 8). How can it be that the majority is in jeopardy of failure according to the system? Is that not direct proof that something has to be wrong? Everyone develops at their own pace, and not everyone can reach the goals of the government at the rate that they expect. Weaver thinks we need to follow the progress of individuals rather than simply grouping people by age. Both writers agree that the system needs to be fixed, and that most of all there should be more of an emphasis on the individual throughout the school system in America. The two agree that a student’s success should not be determined on how much schooling they have had because everyone is unique. The whole reasoning behind the problem, is that the way the system was set up in the first place was meant for a completely different time and set of people. The educational system was originally designed to make the people manageable, rather than encouraging true success within
In Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman, a man hopelessly chasing the “American Dream”, is unsuccessful in his journey to “paradise.” The “American Dream” is the belief that through hard work, patience, and courage, one can achieve success and wealth, no matter where they come or start from. This is why people come to America. It is what many Americans live by, and what all Americans truly desire. Miller portrays the concept of the “American Dream” by connecting it to Willy’s purpose…
12 August 2013
It is no secret that success can be seen as a direct correlation to personal responsibility. Individuals who have gained any degree of personal success likely could not have done so without the ability to take full responsibility for their lives. Personal responsibility can be achieved by maintaining discipline, acquiring time management skills and holding yourself accountable for your actions. With effort, this…
(McCleneghan, 2003, p. 323). Finally, Cosmopolitan and Glamour continue to be highly successful and influential because they “appeal to the niche audience who support them” (McCleneghan, 2003, p. 324).
Advertisements play a vital role in the success and reading enhancements of a magazine. Cosmopolitan intrigues women around the world due to its unique and narrow topics. Cosmopolitan, however, reinforces hegemonic ideologies, as well as, gender and sexuality stereotypes by producing an unrealistic…
Society defines the word perfect with images of faces and the way bodies are formed.
However, a dictionary will define the same word as being without defects or flaws. This
ultimately is an unattainable goal. As Hannah Montana expressed, "Nobody's perfect I gotta
work it again and again until I get it right". She says immediately that perfection is desirable
but never can one say that they are perfect. Rather one must continue to strive for
selfimprovement and personal development to the best of their abilities…
obtain power as a tool to win money-driven Daisy. Along the way, he blurs reality and fantasy as one and allows his illusory emotions to control his decisions. In essence, Gatsby’s traumatic loss of his idealized love falsely led him toward an unattainable dream of prominence.
Jay Gatsby’s reinvention of his identity is the result of the unconscious desires to be present in Daisy’s perception. When Gatsby met Daisy for the first time, he immediately fell in love with her youth, beauty, and wealth…
“beauty” of the things around her, only hoping to become a replica. But what happens when she realizes, this is physically impossible? “I will never look like her,” she thinks to herself. Reaching success and full happiness when bottled up by the influences of cultural and social media is unattainable; the girl is doomed to failure and suffering if constantly pounded with this pressure of ideal perfection. Sadly, there is little anyone can do to overcome these pressures. Unless living under a rock…
loss in confidence in Meta-Narratives
more choices in what to believe
the media and cultural industry (fashion, film, advertising, music etc.) have become central to how we live
boundaries have been broken we are aware of more
the truth is unattainable people are more skeptical
The European Enlightenment
changed ideas of fate because of medical reasons
burke and hare the grave robbers
science and ratiocination replaced religion and superstition as the bases of European societies
Is college the path to success?
College for some is just an unattainable dream due to lack of funds, low grades,
or little benefit. However, given the opportunity, anyone would be crazy to pass it up.
College leads to success in life and society by giving the student more opportunities for
a higher income, opening their eyes to new ideas, and educating them to further better
the world they live in.
It’s no secret that getting a…
America: the land of the brave and free; known as the place where anyone can come and expect plenty of opportunities and endless possibilities The place where everyone wants more and more until the more is unattainable. In the article “the More Factor” author Laurence Shames argues that the idea of the “frontier” that Americans yearn for has created a positive impact on the American way of life. Shames suggest that the idea of the frontier has led Americans to…
who works at a dead-end job and does meaningless work
- view higher education to be something unattainable
- depends on society for help
Famous people or role model stories
- JK Rowling: She began writing the series while she was on welfare and by incorporating some of the darker elements of her own life - the loss of her mother and battle with depression - into the novels, Rowling's books became a success after an initial press of 1,000 sold out, giving way to Potter mania.
- Oprah Winfrey: Surely…