Ken Burns Public Education Analysis

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In a discussion about the paradigms of public education, Ken Burns addresses the controversial topic of cultural education. Public education is experiencing a time of confusion in helping children develop cultural identity so the new generation can continue to play an important role in globalization. This confusion causes an immediate reaction: continue to do what has been done in the past--instruct children to work hard, do well, and earn a college degree, then they will get a job. Many would argue that this philosophy helped the older generation be successful in their educational and post-educational careers, so it should not be changed; however, in the words of Ken Burns, “the problem is that the current system of education was designed …show more content…
Ken Burns positions himself in disagreeance with the those that say public education should continue preaching the same story told in the past, and I share his position. Though I concede that it is difficult to transition to new procedures, I still maintain that it is necessary for public education to change paradigms in accordance to the changing generation. For example, a student may lose all motivation to go to school once he learns that a college degree does not always mean a job. Although he already dislikes spending countless hours at school, he may be turned away completely if he is told he needs a college degree to get a job, only to find out that a degree no longer secures a job in society. Although some might object that this is the best way to imprint on his mind the importance of higher education, I would reply that it is neither the best nor the only way. Some may confuse my view and suppose that I think public education should teach the new generation of the depreciating value of a college degree, however, this is not true. Students should still be strongly encouraged to earn a college degree, but not told that it is the ticket to their future career. Of course, a college education should be priority for everyone, but students may shy away from school after a high school diploma if they find that a college degree is not as worthwhile as previously stressed. Students could gain the same motivation and appreciation …show more content…
Burns states that this divide is not only separating individuals, it is splitting education as well. Despite the evidence that many may present to prove they are not academic, an individual is not destined to be either smart or not smart. In the words Burns, “many brilliant people think they are not because they have been judged against this particular view of the mind.” An individual is as smart as they believe their mind to be. Although objections of being born with mental differences may arise, it is important to remember that this is not always the case; in fact, it is very rarely the case. Burns goes on to explain that the “epidemic” of ADHD is affecting schooling nation-wide. Far too often are students diagnosed with ADHD, causing routine and unnecessary treatment. As Burns states, “our children are living in the most intensely stimulating period in the history of the earth.” At every turn looms an advertisement filled with excitement, smart phones are in the hands of nearly every person, and television and computer screens are the default source of entertainment. With the basis of an exciting, overstimulating world, it is clear to understand why children have such difficulty paying attention while sitting at a desk and being fed information. Burns, however, realizes that ADHD is a

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