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Annotation of School Reform Strategies

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Hoda Mokarian Rebecca Yamano English 101 November 16th, 2011 Critical Annotated Webliography Research Questions: What kinds of school reform strategies have been suggested historically? ANNOTATION #1 Source Information: Goodman, Paul. Compulsory Miseducation. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971. Paul Goodman suggests that in order to counter the strict, lockstep tendencies of American educational institutions, that universities as well as secondary schools devise strategies to encourage greater flexibility, creativity and independence for the student, without which full, adult learning cannot take place.

Specifically, Goodman proposes that prestigious liberal arts universities institute a new requirement: students shall engage in a “maturing” activity for two years before matriculating.

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Examples of “maturing” activities are “working for a living [… ]; community service, [… ], volunteer service in hospital or settlement house, domestic Peace Corps; the army” (Goodman). This proposal would push up the average age of the entering student and make him or her more ready for academic work, such as anthropology or the physical sciences, which are better understood with “experience and judgement” (Goodman).

Goodman’s other proposal is that the elite universities should “abolish grading, and use testing only and entirely for pedagogic purposes as teachers see fit” (Goodman).

He finds that grades are more of a status measure than a real reflection of understanding, and recognizes that the main objectors will be students and parents, both of whom see grades as a way to combat laziness. However, the proposal will bring greater purity and maturity to university schooling. APPROPRIATION: Passage #1: “It is really necessary to remind our academics of the ancient history of Examination.

In the medieval university, the whole point of the grueling trial of the candidate was whether or not to accept him as a peer. His disputation and lecture for the Master’s was just that, a master-piece to enter the guild. It was not to make comparative evaluations. It was not to weed out and select for an extra-mural licensor or employer. It was certainly not to pit one young fellow against another in an ugly competition. My philosophic impression is that the medievals thought they knew what a good job of work was and that we are competitive because we do not know.

But the more status is achieved by largely irrelevant competitive evaluation, the less will we ever know. ” Critical commentary on Passage #1: In this passage Goodman cites a historical fact in order to remind universities about the origins of examinations and grading. Goodman has a bias: he wants to get rid of grading. The facts cited are that exams among medieval guildsmen (universities originated in medieval Germany) were basically pass or fail, and the guild merely wanted to see if the person taking the exam could do the work. Exams were not always so cutthroat, even though people are fond of thinking that in the past exams were harder.

Passage #2: “Most important of all, it is often obvious that balking in doing the work, especially among bright young people who get to great universities, means exactly what it says: The work does not suit me, not this subject, or not at this time, or not in this school, or not in school altogether. The student might not be bookish; he might be school-tired; perhaps his development ought now to take another direction. Yet unfortunately, if such a student is intelligent and is not sure of himself, he can be bullied into passing, and this obscures everything. My hunch is that I am describing a common situation.

What a grim waste of young life and teacherly effort! Such a student will retain nothing of what he has “passed” in. Sometimes he must get mononucleosis to tell his story and be believed. ” Critical commentary on Passage #2: Here, Goodman writes that grading inhibits character examination. If a student doesn’t have intrinsic motivation, he won’t ultimately be successful at performing the outcome of the work (ie medicine after a biology test). This is another argument in support of his proposal to abolish grading. ANNOTATION #2: Source information: http://www. preservenet. com/theory/Illich/Deschooling/intro. html

Written in the late 60s, in this essay Illich observes that schooling actually increases differences between the rich and the poor and misappropriates money. The government must not be in charge of schooling society, because this contextualizes schooling within an institutional framework and merely prepares citizens for entrance into another institution. To free schools from institutionalization requires a radical shift in thinking, a new reliance on emerging technologies, and free market reform. APPROPRIATION: Passage #1: “Two centuries ago the United States led the world in a movement to disestablish the monopoly of a single church.

Now we need the constitutional disestablishment of the monopoly of the school, and thereby of a system which legally combines prejudice with discrimination. The first article of a bill of rights for a modern, humanist society would correspond to the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution: “The State shall make no law with respect to the establishment of education. ” There shall be no ritual obligatory for all. To make this disestablishment effective, we need a law forbidding discrimination in hiring, voting, or admission to centers of learning based on previous attendance at some curriculum.

This guarantee would not exclude performance tests of competence for a function or role, but would remove the present absurd discrimination in favor of the person who learns a given skill with the largest expenditure of public funds or what is equally likely has been able to obtain a diploma which has no relation to any useful skill or job. Only by protecting the citizen from being disqualified by anything in his career in school can a constitutional disestablishment of school become psychologically effective. ” Critical commentary on Passage #1: Illich is making a bold proposal: he wants to follow the example of the U. S. n abolishing the governing of churches by government by separating school from state. One way to implement this proposal would be to forbid employers from evaluating candidates for jobs according to where they went to school. Passage #2: “Schools are even less efficient in the arrangement of the circumstances which encourage the open-ended, exploratory use of acquired skills, for which I will reserve the term “liberal education. ” The main reason for this is that school is obligatory and becomes schooling for schooling’s sake: an enforced stay in the company of teachers, which pays off in the doubtful privilege of more such company.

Just as skill instruction must be freed from curricular restraints, so must liberal education be dissociated from obligatory attendance. Both skill-learning and education for inventive and creative behavior can be aided by institutional arrangement, but they are of a different, frequently opposed nature. ” Critical commentary on Passage #2: Here, Illich makes a similar argument to that of Goodman (which is unsurprising given the contemporary time). Schools, as institutions, are ill-equipped to allow students to actually practice what they learn in any independent, questioning way.

One problem is forced attendance, which compels students to be in school simply because it is part of the daily structure. Students are not able to naturally incorporate knowledge into their lives. ANNOTATION #3: Source Information: Tough Choices for Tough Times: The Report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. This report observes current trends in the American and global workforce. New careers demand more flexible thinking and creativity, and it is suggested that education reflects these new needs.

Cite this Annotation of School Reform Strategies

Annotation of School Reform Strategies. (2019, May 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/annotation-1031/

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