Paper #1: Education

English 101

Draft DUE:
Friday, January 21, 2000 (in class). For this first paper only, the "draft" will be an introduction, thesis (included in the introduction), first "Body" paragraph and complete outline.
Revised Paper DUE:
Friday, January 28, 2000 by 3 pm in my office.
Length:
3 pages

        For your first paper, you should develop an argument about education. Your paper can focus on any aspect of education we've discussed in class, or an aspect that we haven't addressed but you think we should address. The goal is to create a persuasive argument in support of your position. A persuasive argument requires the following:

1. A thesis claim. Your thesis should take a defensible, even contestable, position on the topic of education.

2. Support. To persuade your readers to your position, you will need to provide some evidence in support of your claims about education. You can draw your evidence from your own experience, our readings on education, your classmates' contributions to our discussions, or other appropriate sources.

3. Analysis and explanation of evidence. Don't forget to explain for your reader how your evidence supports your claims about education.

Remember to provide a brief introduction and conclusion to your argument, and a "Works Cited" page so your readers know where you are getting your support. The Bedford Handbook has some pointers on the form of an argumentative essay if you're uncertain what's expected for this assignment; please ask me, too, if you have any questions. My office hours are on the syllabus, and my office is 72 George, room 201. I can also meet by appointment or via email (nelp@cofc.edu)

        Finally, if you're having trouble finding a particular claim amidst the rather large topic of education, here are some questions to get you thinking:

1. In an essay included in your anthology, John Taylor Gatto argues that there's a "hidden curriculum" in American education, from kindergarten to 12th grade. This hidden curriculum, as paraphrased by Rereading America's editors is "an unwritten, unacknowledged set of lessons about self and society that schooling inflicts on every student from kindergarten to graduate school" (166). Do you agree or disagree with Gatto's claim about a "hidden curriculum"?

2. Do you think that your college education (at least from this early perspective) offers a similar "hidden curriculum," or perhaps a "hidden curriculum" of a different sort? What are the lessons of this curriculum, and will it have healthy or debilitating results on the students?

3. Does Mike Rose's educational success prove or disprove the claims of Gatto's essay?

4. Keep in mind the essays we're reading for Tuesday: Anyon, "From Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work" and Mantisos, "Rewards and Opportunities: The Politics and Economics of Class in the U.S." Do you agree or disagree with these authors' claims about education? Why or why not?