The Post Modern Student

Short Essay: The Post Modern Student (25 Points) Due

Barber, Benjamin. “America Skips School: Why We Talk So Much About Education.” (P).
Kozel, Jonathan. “The Tale of Two Schools.” (P).
Using the Writing Process, write a short essay of two to three to four pages plus a Works Cited page. It is purposefully short because your goal is to present a narrowed and focused opinion. Don’t just generalize.

You should also demonstrate the ability to produce a basic essay with a thesis and evidence to support that thesis. Show that you can integrate summary, paraphrase and effective quoting. Most importantly, you should analyze (not summarize) the quotes, using them as evidence that supports your thesis or as a way to bring a counter-argument into the discussion.

Another goal you strive for is the ability to synthesize two or more sources. Thus you might consider how you could use one essay to inform, or show relationships between two sources.

In “America Skips School” Benjamin R. Barber claims “The fundamental task of education in a democracy is…learning to be free” (152). Explain what he means and agree or disagree with him. What should you study as you learn to be free? What does the democracy have to do with it? Explain your own view.

In “America Skips School” Benjamin R. Barber cites Jonathon Kozol’s book Savage Inequalities. He suggests that we can improve the educational situation by “finding other sources of funding” for our [inner-city, poverty ridden] schools besides property taxes” (155). If you agree with him, suggest new and inventive funding sources. Explain how they will be implemented.

Come up with your own idea as long as it’s related to education. But be careful about the pitfalls of simply agreeing with another writer’s thesis. Once you go there, there is often nowhere else to go. Don’t write yourself into a dead-end.

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