Assignment on Myth of Education

Second Essay Assignment: The Myth of Education

Assignment: Our second essay assignment in Writing 1 asks you to read several texts on education in the United States and examine your own educational experience. Then, using those texts and your own experience, identify and explain two major aspects of what you believe is wrong with education today. In your conclusion, propose some initial thoughts on fixing the problem. Your paper should be five pages of text plus a works cited page.

This assignment has immediate applications for your own studies. Many students come into college with a goal of merely getting a degree, rather than with goals for obtaining the kind of education they will require to make them better thinkers and communicators who can respond to needs they will encounter after college—in jobs, in personal relationships, and in civic life.

Readings assignedfrom Rereading America: Chapter 2, Myths of Education—“From report of the Massachusetts Board of Education, 1848”, Horace Mann, “Idiot Nation,” Michael Moore; “Against School,” John Taylor Gatto; “I Just Wanna be Average,” Mike Rose; “From Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work,” Jean Anyon

NOTE: You may read additional essays from the chapter and use them in your essay, if you so choose.

Important Dates:

July 8: Rough Draft Due to Your Editing Groups (by 11:59 p.m.)

July 13: Essay Due to Turnitin link in the Assignments folder in our Content section of Blackboard (by 11:59 p.m.)

Detailed Instructions for the Second Essay

Write a five page essay (double-spaced, 12-point font, with one-inch margins) that fulfills the requirements listed below.

Background (before writing): Read and understand the following texts from Rereading America:

  • Introduction to Chapter 2, Learning Power: The Myth of Education and Empowerment
  • Idiot Nation (Michael Moore)
  • From Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work (Jean Anyon)
  • I Just Wanna Be Average (Mike Rose) and The Lesson (Bambara)—treated as one text

Subject: Using the texts and your own experience, make an argument for two aspects of what is wrong with education today; in your conclusion, offer initial suggestions of how these problems may be repaired.

Introduction: Write a long paragraph (or two paragraphs) using a hook and introductory material of your choice. (This can be based on personal experience or the essays, but it must be narrated in the third person.) Conclude your introduction with a thesis statement that suggests two problems with education to day. In your thesis, suggest which essays, and what of your own experience, you will be using in the essay.

Summary/Analysis: Transition into several paragraphs of summary and analysis of the texts and personal experience you have chosen. Organize this section of the essay by the first problem you have identified, and then the next problem you have identified.

Use quotes from the texts in offering your summary and analysis, remembering to comment on the quotes and to use them to advance your paragraph’s argument.

Conclusione: After summarizing and analyzing key parts of the texts and your pertinent experience, conclude your essay by suggesting (and expanding upon) initial solutions to the problems you have identified. Limit your conclusion to no more than a page.

Note on MLA Format

The OWL website describes (among other important items) MLA format. This is a common-use format devised and updated by the Modern Language Association (MLA), an organization of educators in the Humanities.

Samples of a first page of an essay and a works cited page are given on the following pages.

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