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This sociology academic essay critically reflects upon the article by Mark Slouka, known as, ‘Dehumanized, When Math and Science rule the School.’ The key thesis of Mark Slouka of this article was a persuasive argument which indeed had severe concerns on the country and the individuals. The thesis was, that in American schools the humanities have lost out to science and math which eventually will have severe impacts on the future of democracy.
Moreover, this article performs an analysis of the factors through which the factory-style and test-driven schooling were analyzed. Despite the effectiveness of the approach being challenged by the evidence. Slouka always has emerged with strong elements as the art of rhetoric has always been finely added by him throughout the content. Along with the usage of elegant language. It can also be read and well-enjoyed by an individual (Slouka 35). However, the intoxication of elegant prose used in order to overwhelm the prominent reasons must not be encouraged by the reader.
Secondly, validity indeed is present throughout the essential thesis of Slouka in this article. As the framework in which our language, the education’s thrust, the value of things has been reckoned and emerged as enormously economistic. In case of evaluation of plans, arrangements, programs, or systems, questions related to how fair they will be are mostly perceived by us, instead of being more concerned whether they are not cost-efficient or simply effective. Moreover, consequences result negatively when this specific frame has dominated our outlook of perceiving and seeing things.
In addition, some of the few examples reflected in the article as evidence both empirical and anecdotal as supportive propositions towards the key thesis have been the evidence of collateral damage due to the impact of particular policies, the failures of test-based accountability in the United States, and failures of particular policies of enhancing the outcomes of student. Along with this, the article also presented factors which initiated factory-style and test-driven schooling involving the Overton Window – which was a small range of discourses that are acceptable and precludes discussions over healthier alternatives, ignorance of alternative paradigms of education, ignorance of the historical origins of factory schooling, and institutional and personal inertia. Furthermore, it also presented factors such as influencing the factory-style schooling involving misleading and flawed research, linear curricular outcomes, conventional academic outcomes, self-fulfilling prophecies related to motivation of students, motives based on profits, tendencies of the bureaucracy, and misleading media and language coverage.
Moreover, the article has reflected upon some personal experiences which a person may have experienced in their own life. Personal experiences are produced through good literature. Entire cultures can be influenced by great literature. However, the power of literature and the value of literature are independent and distinct. For example, if the Bible submitted de novo to a publishing house in today’s world, there are fifty percent chances that it would have got rejected. However, we still study it because a powerful impact has been influenced by it throughout the Western World.
In college life, Mark considered minimum requirements concerning science and math subjects. I imagine He may also have skimped on music, foreign languages, and history or even English. As no one will have such vacuous and narrow perspectives especially the one that has a liberal arts education and mindset. In his article, he reflected upon the story of an only child as a product of the uncontested narcissism. The child eventually finds out once he grew up that there are more popular people than him in the world. Perhaps in response, he acquired an academic degree. Further, learned how to craft and create good and influential sentences along with accomplishment of satisfaction with himself and then also taught others to pursue the same.
However, along with this, observations were also tried to be made occasionally by Mark by integrating them into entertaining essays or stories. Distance has been the key theme which Mark has focused throughout this article, as it reflects upon a mind that has never experienced science and mathematics directly. I believe that great experiences generate great writing. These great experienced eventually are driven from the humility and curiosity of embracing the life initially. Mark would not have composed a well-crafted essay if he even would have considered few advanced math or science courses.
Also, some of the key concepts have been presented by Mark’s article, such as personal freedom and political life of a nation. One can assume equally straightforward answers in an aspiring democracy. As contributions towards the development of autonomous human individuals have been taught. This is done in order to expand the independent-minded people, reasoning, and knowledgeable people both familiar and sufficiently with the world outside them so that they can contribute their breadth, compassion, and judgments. This overall indeed make significant contributions towards the political life of the nation and also help individuals in searching for productive employment for them. Concerning this, teaching individuals instead of tasks so that significant participation in the infinitely and complicated worthwhile labor of forming citizens can be encouraged. This also helps both females and males in figuring out what may be best for them and predicting things that could be bad for them.
Above all, the possible changes that have been discussed throughout the article especially with respect to public policy have been first concerning education policy. The zeitgeist was reflected by the education policy in the article. Also, an incredible skill for co-opting or marginalizing systems of value was represented by capitalism. Still, in this article specific elegance was reflected by the success of capitalism. Some of the proposed changes towards this policy it showed were by forcing the criteria to be met in order to acquire success along with bringing significant changes concerning education for healing purposes. However, one of the key issue analyzed was the vulnerability of success. The pathway of producing a nation of employees instead of citizens can be made if dangerous factors relative to the education can be downsized, specifically the deep civic function of the humanities and the arts.
Few exceptions can be found when it comes about discussing education in America. Jobs eventually as the omega and alpha of educational policy as the real reason behind the significant investments has always been the subject under discussion whether be it the latest Presidential Commission on Education or the local PTA meeting. However, it is significant and necessary that our business leaders must determine the priorities of education and the relation between education and industry. Moreover, the relation between an organization and its suppliers must be resembled increasingly by the relationship between education and industry. Alternatively, management must be pleased in any manner possible by the suppliers across the nation to generate payroll or demonstrate the product’s viability.
Last but not least, bringing significant changes in educational policies can also be seen by the example of the ritual addressing of the crises in education that have taken place periodically. Typically, the business community drives the call to arms. America is significantly losing competitive edge as Singapore is progressing way much more ahead in comparison to America concerning educational policies.
Slouka, Mark. “Dehumanized.” Harper’s Magazine (2009): 32-40.