EN 106 > Essay #3 Assignment > What Does it Mean to be Educated, and Who Decides?: Expanding the Conversation about Education In Essay #3, you will consider additional perspectives on the topic of education, perspectives you will discover through scholarly research. Rather than attempt to integrate Freire, Loewen, and new sources, you will instead develop a new paper based on Loewen’s ideas. Feel free to retain and revise any of Essay #2 that will help you construct this new argument. Loewen’s contention is that history, in particular American history, is typically taught in ways that obscure or overlook entirely the truth of event. First you’ll need to determine your stance in relation to Loewen’s thesis. Then, research what scholars have said about a specific historical event of your choosing. Start with an EBSCOhost search on the event using the Park University McAfee Memorial Library’s online database page, but also consider consulting the JSTOR database. Think about what you would like to teach your readers about the ways this historical event has been understood, misunderstood, taught, and learned. You might focus on the implications for students of history, or for citizens who understand or misunderstand their country’s history. Whatever focus you choose, be sure to place your new articles in conversation Loewen in order to make a central argument about education. Make sure that every paragraph of Essay #3 points your readers toward your particular focus and argument (Greene and Lidinsky 828). Some of you may find it possible to use a lot of material from Essay #2, and others will simply use Essay #2 as a launching off point. Either way, I will be looking for a revised thesis, enhanced supporting arguments, incorporation of new research, etc. Remember the difference between revision and editing; this is a revision project, not an exercise in editing Essay #2. In short, although you will use Essay #2 as a basis, Essay #3 should be a significant re-envisioning, with a revised thesis and development. It goes without saying that Essay #3 will have a new title to reflect this revised content. Guidelines for Essay #3 Length/Due Date: approximately 1,000 words, due Sunday midnight Central Standard Time (CST). Style/Format: This, as all essays in EN 106, will be formatted according to MLA (Modern Language Association) guidelines for scholarship in the humanities: 12 point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced. 1-inch margins top, bottom, and sides. Although no cover page is needed, you should include your name, my name, the course number/title, and date at the upper left-hand corner of the manuscript. To view a sample MLA-formatted paper, see p. 226 in Easy Writer. References: Essay #3 will include formal references to not only the assigned readings but the sources you locate via research; include enough references to support your thesis. Such EN 106 Page 1 out of 2 © Park University, 2008 EN 106 Page 2 out of 2 © Park University, 2008 references will utilize quotation or paraphrasing, and they will include in-text citations (the author’s last name and page number in parentheses; however, use only the page number if the author’s last name is mentioned in the text leading up to the quote or if the previous in-text citation included the name of the same author). File format: Please submit your essay in Rich Text Format (RTF). This is available in most word processing programs; it will ensure maximum document accessibility for all operating platforms. Works Cited: Your essay will include a Works Cited page, with entries for Loewen and the two other scholarly sources you located via research. See p. 206 of Easy Writer for directions on how to create a works-cited entry for a work in an anthology. Also in that section of Easy Writer are directions for formatting material archived in EBSCOhost (see pp. 214-215); these directions apply to material archived in JSTOR as well. Titles: Include a descriptive title at the beginning of your essay that tips your readers off to your thesis. Do not format your title with quotation marks, boldface, underlining or italics. Quotation marks or underlining are only appropriate if the title borrows words from another source. Last weeks Essay and work cited Educated and talented people are the basis of a healthy and wealthy nation. We live in a quite complicated and challenging world nowadays. The 21st century is a century of great technical, medical and scientific breakthrough. Understandably, only talented, quick-thinking and well-educated young people have all chances for success. Education has become one of the most important issues for everyone and everywhere. Each person does his or her best to get higher education in order to achieve something really significant in his or her future career. However, modern system of education has several drawbacks and there are a few works by popular scholars and educators which help to rule them out. Paul Freire and James Loewen are two of them. Paul Freire wrote several essays on educational issues. His theory is a democratic and out-of-the-ordinary one. One of the most important points he highlights is the access to education for all the social strata of the society. He comes from a very poor family in Brazil. He is familiar with all the problems of having no possibility to study because of the lack of money. That is the main reason for his stressing this issue so vigorously. Another point Freire feels strongly about is the relations between a teacher and students. According to him, there should be a continuous dialogue between them. No one should feel superior or inferior. They must cooperate and dispute all the time. The very process of teaching can not be restricted by the providing of material only. It must be a creative and multilateral work. Knowledge must be not only transmitted but exchanged and processed as well. “It is through hearing the learners, a task unacceptable to authoritarian educators, that democratic teachers increasingly prepare themselves to be heard by learners. But by listening to and so learning to talk with learners, democratic teachers teach the learners to listen to them as well” (65). Paul Freire sees a teacher as a person who is full of respect and love toward the learners, a person who knows exactly what the learners need and tries hard to satisfy them rather than a cocky and arrogant one who doesn’t care of anything besides the material he or she is to provide. To cut a long story short, Freire’s educational theory is a highly flexible and democratic one, it offers equality and freedom to everyone be it a teacher or a learner. James Loewen, in his turn, is popular for his book “Lies my teacher told me”. It is a very interesting and quite useful piece of writing based on teaching history to learners. It is a critical approach to the way given subject is taught nowadays and to the history textbooks in general. In order to write this book the author has checked twelve textbooks, so his study is very full and precise. He pays more attention to the very subject than to the relations between a teacher and learners. There are some entries dedicated to the way teachers should cooperate with students or pupils, though. They should be flexible, creative and open-minded. “Since textbooks employ a rhetoric of certainty, it is hard for teachers to introduce either controversy or uncertainty into the classroom without deviating from the usual standards of discourse. . . . It is hard for teachers to teach open-endedly. They are afraid not to be in control of the answer, afraid of losing their authority over the class. . . . Who knows where inquiry might lead or how to manage it? . . . . Instead o f discussion and research, teachers emphasize ‘simplistic teacher-controlled information” (281). James Loewen considers textbooks not teachers to be the main enemies of the learners. He sees history textbooks as very limited and not true to life ones. They seem to be too optimistic and ideal to him. The best way out he suggests is combining at least two or more textbooks while giving lectures and to feel free to discuss and thoroughly analyze controversial points. Then the history lessons will not be as boring as they are now, they will become very interesting and much more effective. Both scholars present quite similar approaches to modern educational system. Nevertheless, there can be noticed some differences. Loewen and Freire see education as a flexible and democratic process. Both of them encourage dialogue between a teacher and a learner. Either Loewen or Freire stresses the importance of feeling comfortable and at ease while in class. “Educators need to know what happens in the world of the children with whom they work. They need to know the universe of their dreams, the language with which they skillfully defend themselves from the aggressiveness of their world, what they know independently of the school, and how they know it” (Freire 72). Anyway, both scholars have different major issues they discuss in their works. Freire pays a lot of attention to the role and main obligations of a teacher while conducting a lesson. Loewen considers textbooks to be at fault of boring and ineffective process of learning. Modern system of education is a very complicated and controversial issue. Educated person is an integral part of a developed and advanced society. To this end, more and more approaches to proper education are beginning to appear. Some scholars consider that learning materials should be improved and updated; the others stress the importance of new teaching techniques and methods. In fact, it is not easy to decide what the most important factor of fruitful teaching is. Good and up-to-date textbooks, experienced, friendly and cooperative teachers, equal and motivated students, comfortable and pleasant atmosphere in the classrooms are necessary to improve modern system of education. It is impossible to choose only one thing to be obligatory and the others to be optional. There are no primary and no secondary notions. Everything is important in education. We must do our best to achieve this goal, to invent a proper approach to educational system. Here can be no exceptions and no perks. A combination of all the issues mentioned above is a precondition for getting well-educated and efficient specialists. Unfortunately, there exist too many gaps and errors to be filled in and corrected. Nothing great has ever been done in a short period of time. Luckily, we have plenty of it. Teaching staff should be very flexible and sensitive to learners’ needs and demands. The very learners should be considered as the subjects not the objects of the teaching process. They are our future, our hope and expectations. Educated and talented people are the basis of a healthy and wealthy nation. So, we have no right to ignore this fact. Works Cited Freire, Paulo; Teachers as Cultural Workers – Letters to Those Who Dare Teach, Translated by Donoldo Macedo, Dale Koike, and Alexandre Oliveira, Westview Press, Boulder, CO, 1998. Loewen, James. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. New York, 1995.
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