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“The Shame of the Nation” by Jonathan Kozol Essay

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Updated: Aug 26th, 2020

Background

In his book The Shame of the Nation, Jonathan Kozol speaks about educational issues. Chapters 4 and 7 are devoted to the comparison of urban and suburban, public, and private schools. The author underlines that the deprived student population faces a range of problems that prevents it from receiving the desired education and getting it made. The school environment is full of work-related themes that are promoted by teachers and local corporations. The lack of resources leads to limited learning opportunities and poor offering of further education, so students have no other opportunity but to take such courses as sewing or hair braiding (Kozol 181).

“Industry Embedded” Schools

In these chapters, Kozol refers to the term “industry embedded” school. In his point of view, this is a school typical for poor and segregated districts. Children who study in them are supposed to identify their future careers before entering a high school. These rules differ but the decision is to be made during the last year of the elementary or middle school. The thing is that students do not have a wide range of offerings as they decide what they are going to do in the future. Even those who are willing to enter some universities have no other opportunity but to take courses and become one of the team players (Kozol 106).

Students say that their schools are extremely influenced by local corporations and business people who promote different managerial themes. A lot of these educational establishments are in poor condition. They are not cooled or heated, lack space and resources. Students often do not have enough classrooms as schools are overcrowded. They do not receive required textbooks and desks, saying nothing of nutrition (Kozol 162). Still, the buildings are covered with posters that promote some brands and spread managerial topics.

Analysis

Personally, I believe that those students who attend “industry embedded” schools have very limited opportunities in the future. Their career path is, in general, connected with becoming one of those team players that are demanded by local corporations and businesspeople. These students are not likely to enter some university.

They are expected to follow the career chosen when being a freshman. Many will turn into blue-collar workers, and almost no one will receive an opportunity to “wear a white collar”. From the very elementary school, teachers tend to implement different work-related themes into the educational process. As a result, being kids, students are already encouraged to work as managers and maintain earning-tracking charts. In this way, their future is determined without their will, which is a great drawback of such education.

In addition to that, the physical environment of such schools tends to have an adverse influence on students and the way they perceive the world. First of all, the fact that “industry embedded” schools are full of those things that promote brands and spread managerial topics, defines, and limits children’s interests. It is the only offering they have for the future, so many students just do not know the whole range of opportunities that exists outside. Moreover, the fact that schools are overcrowded and lack resources tend to make students more competitive and aggressive than it is needed, which can even affect their health.

Thus, “industry embedded” schools that are peculiar to public schools in urban territories. They are often in poor condition due to the lack of space and resources. Students who study in them represent deprived population that has very limited career opportunities because their educational establishments promote managerial themes and offer aligned courses.

Work Cited

Kozol, Jonathan. The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America, New York: Random House, 2005. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, August 26). "The Shame of the Nation" by Jonathan Kozol. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-shame-of-the-nation-by-jonathan-kozol/

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""The Shame of the Nation" by Jonathan Kozol." IvyPanda, 26 Aug. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-shame-of-the-nation-by-jonathan-kozol/.

1. IvyPanda. ""The Shame of the Nation" by Jonathan Kozol." August 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-shame-of-the-nation-by-jonathan-kozol/.


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IvyPanda. 2020. ""The Shame of the Nation" by Jonathan Kozol." August 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-shame-of-the-nation-by-jonathan-kozol/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) '"The Shame of the Nation" by Jonathan Kozol'. 26 August.

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