To Be or Not to Be Well Educated Essay

1120 Words May 14th, 2013 5 Pages
ENG 101-D23 LUO
Professor Desiree B. Sholes

To be or not to be well-educated: A Narrative Response to Alfie Kohn’s “What does it mean to be well-educated?”

To be or not to be well-educated: A Narrative Response to Alfie Kohn’s “What does it mean to be well-educated?”
Alfie Kohn’s essay “What does it mean to be well-educated?” begins on a personal note using his wife as an example to substantiate his hypothesis. Encountering Alisa at the very beginning of the essay was indeed a refreshing way to initiate thought into a subject not often considered. Today not everyone ponders the real relevance behind education nor does anyone contemplate just how much of education is needed to be
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Standardization of knowledge leads therefore to an elimination of the underprivileged of a society. Colored and low-income students, those with disabilities, and those not fluent in English remain at the bottom rung of the knowledge ladder because of insufficient opportunity (2003, par. 21). Kohn’s opinion that standardized tests actually lower the standard of education by encouraging learning and teaching to become restricted within the confines of the test is what I find most disturbing especially when considering that this contention renders any formal education we may have received irrelevant. Kohn contends that acquiring knowledge should revolve more around discovery than following a prescribed curriculum and this is absolutely relevant in that most students remember more of what they learn themselves rather than what they are forced to absorb in a lecture hall. Standardized teaching on the other hand frustrates both the teacher and the learner and acts as an obstacle to gaining knowledge. The practical model of education being successfully practiced in several schools, much more so today, is advocated by Kohn to promote true gaining of knowledge (2003, par. 26).
Kohn’s essay once again made me think just how effective it would be if good teachers were given the freedom to design their

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