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Rebekah Averill Eng.

111 Lucia Elden 11-12-13

Whos to Blame?

College readiness is a large issue of debate among the educational community. The currents teaching method is not beneficial for both today's teachers and students. Students all learn differently just how teachers teach differently. Students also need to realize that it is not up to the teachers to teach them everything and that they need to be willing to teach themselves. Teachers also need to realize that they need to expect more out of the students and learn that the students don't need to rely on the teacher for everything. Students are all willing to point the finger at teachers because they didn't teach us the info we needed to know. Teachers are willing to point the finger at students because they didn't put in enough effort or we didn't have time with all the state set standards. It is the fault of both. Teachers are teaching student to be parrots, to regurgitate information without understanding what it means and students don't take the initiative to learn on their own time. In the article The Banking Concept of Education by Paulo Freire, he states The teacher knows everything, the student nothing (241). His argument is that the banking concept is out of date and needs to be replaced. The teacher doesn't always know everything about the subject that they teach. The student can sometimes be the teacher, teaching the student something that they didn't know, or giving them a different perspective on the subject. In the article Angels on a Pin:
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The Barometer Story Alexander Calandra tells a story about a college student who gave an out of the box answer to an exam question. Calandra explains: I read the exam question and it asked show how it is possible to determine the Height of a tall building with the aid of a Barometer. The student then went on to Say Take the barometer to the top of the building, attach a rope to it, lower the Barometer to the street, and then bring it up, measuring the length of the rope. The length of the rope is the height of the building (159). Different people react to the same question or situation in different ways. In a math class if students are given a problem there will have two main groups. The large majority of the class will do the problem exactly as the teacher explained it, again going back to the parrot concept. Then though, there will be a small percentage of the class who does it their own way. These students are the ones who have taken the effort necessary to apply previous knowledge that they have to solve a new problem. Teachers,they are normal people who have the guts and are willing to go teach the children of the world, putting up with their behavior for 7 hours a day, one-hundred and eighty days a year (In the U.S.), for 13 years of their lives. Students have to be willing to teach themselves also, putting in their own effort to succeed in life and not relying on the abilities of the people around them. Students need to be willing to hold each other accountable and challenge each other, making sure that not just that they themselves are ready for college but that there friends and peers are also prepared. It is a student's own responsibility to be prepared for the choices that they make in life. Throughout their school career students have gained the ability to switch languages, depending what class they are taking. Each subject is its own discourse community, students

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being thrown in head first and having to learn on the go. In high school, the material learned in each subject the previous year has nothing to do with the material in the class the next year. For example in history you take American history one year and then European history then next. The two subjects have nothing to do with each other. In college classes your professors expect you to be able to link ideas from different classes and subjects together. This is a problem posing education, unlike the banking concept that is used in high school. Of these two methods, one is more productive in a real world setting. As stated by Freire Students... are increasingly posed with problems relating to themselves in the world .... They will feel increasingly challenged and obligated to respond to that challenge (247). With the methods used in the current learning system the skills needed to succeed in college are being lost. When the join college they are wanting to further their skills but don't have the abilities required, so they must fake it till they make it or fail to succeed and drop out. Some of the skills needed to prevail are caught are taught but others arnt. In the article Agonism in the Academy: Surviving Higher Learnings Argument Culture by Deborah Tannen, the idea that We assign scholarly work for them to read, then invite them to tear it apart (16). The majority of the issues are found in the English department because the skills that students learned in high school and irrelevant to the material learned in college. Students do not know how to link the idea from different paper, papers whose subject have nothing to do with each other, and find a common piece of ground. This Concept of finding common ground is where discerning the master and the novice becomes possible. In the article Two Metaphors for Learning and The Novice Writer by Joseph Williams and Gregory G. Colomb, The idea is presented that Novices will tend to say those things that are ordinarily left unsaid by insiders, things that can be left unsaid just because they are shared (222). Novice writers tend to state the obvious facts that are in article or book

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not the things that an expert writer would notice. An expert writer has learned the ability to read in-between the lines and understand what the author is saying without them actually saying it. This is a proficiency that comes with years of trial and error and lots of practice. In the article Inventing the university by David Bartholomae, he suggests: Every time a student sits down to write for us, he has to invent the University for the occasioninvent the university, that is, or a branch of it, like History or Anthropology or Economics or English. The student has to learn our language, to speak as we do, to try on the peculiar ways of knowing, selecting, evaluation, reporting, concluding, and arguing that define the discourse of our community (209). We are back to the Learning on the go concept. Students are forced to change how they research, write and argue the point in their papers depending on the class that they are in. The more those students are forced to write the better they will become at it. High schools across the country are pushing the concept of Writing across the curriculum. This means that no matter what classes the students are taking they will be writing. This would be a great idea if it was properly executed. This would force students to learn the proficiency needed to succeed in college life. They would be able to write papers for any class, switching with ease between English and History. Once they had the abilities to write a paper with ease they would no longer dread those classes where it is required. When someone becomes good at something it no longer seems like work. The article Good Video Games and Good Learning by James Paul Gee explains: Good games offer players a set of challenging problems and then let them solve these problems until their solutions are virtually automatic. Then the game throws

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a new class of problems at the players, requiring them to rethink their now takenfor granted mastery, learn something new, and integrate this new learning with their old mastery. In turn, this new mastery is consolidated through repetition (with variation), only to be challenged again (36). So once a student conquers one challenge they should be given one that is a little harder and slightly different from the last one. In turn they will continue to be challenged but not to the point of frustration where they give up. Learning to write is like learning to swim. It can either be learned a bit at a time which almost guarantees victory or by being thrown into the deep end with the chance of conquering but also the chance of surrendering to the waves. In turn The point of departure . Lies in the people themselves (250). The issue isnt being challenged so nothing is being done to fix it. People realize that the issue is there but Not one person it willing to take that first step to confront the issue, draw public awareness on the downfalls of America's public education system. Someone has to step up, take the blame and be willing to change the ways that the education system teaches. Not one group of people is the problem. Neither the Teachers, the Students, nor the government has the ability to fix the issue by themselves. If they are willing to work together the future generation will not have the same difficulties that the current generation of students is having. Unless confronted it will lie dormant for eternity and nothing will change.

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Works Cited Alexander Calandra (2007). Angels on a Pin: The Barometer Story. In R. Norgaard, Composing Knowledge: Readings for College Writers (pp. 158-162). Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. Paulo Freire (2007). The Banking Concept of Education. In R. Norgaard, Composing knowledge: readings for college writers (pp. 240-253). Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. James Paul Gee (2005). Good Video Games and Good Learning. PHI KAPPA PHI FORUM/VOL. 85, NO.2, 33-37. Deborah Tannen (2007). Agonism in the Academy: Surviving Higher Learnings Argument Culture. In R. Norgaard, Composing Knowledge: Readings for College Writers (pp. 1519). Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. Joseph Williams and Gregory G. Colomb (2007). The Novice Writer. In R. Norgaard, Composing Knowledge: Readings for College Writers (pp. 221-223). Boston: Bedford/St. Martins.

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