Education – Want

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 22 November 2016

Education – Want

We could say that an educated person is like a piece of artwork, it is open to the interpretation of the viewer. Just like every art work critique has their own opinion about an artwork, everyone has their own different interpretations of what an educated person is. One thing is clear though, in order to be a successful person in life, you do not need money, as well as in order to be an educated person, you do not need a college diploma. What you are willing to give up in order to become your best person depends on how much you truly want to accomplish that goal.

Not everyone knows right away what they have a passion for. One has to explore new activities and only then will they be able to decide for themselves. Everyone expresses their opinion, and in my thought an educated person is the willing to put in time like Gladwell explains, claims their learning rights like Rich exercises, applies critical thinking and reasoning to work towards a success like Wagner emphasizes and lastly does not fall victim to adversity like my father focuses attention on. An educated person should always be willing to put in time.

This means that they are willing to give up what they want now, for what they want most. For example, in Gladwell, Schoenfeld the math professor experimented with a young girl Renee, which took her approximately twenty-two minutes to figure the slope of a vertical line. “This is eight-grade mathematics… If I put the average eighth grader in the same position as Renee, I’m guessing that after the first few attempts, they would have said, ‘I don’t get it. I need you to explain it. ’ (Gladwell 2008, pp. 245). ” What Schoenfeld proved with this experiment was the willingness of Renee to continue the math problem.

Of course, compared to the eighth grader, Renee had more self-discipline and wanted to continue on going until she was able to solve it. An educated person should be willing to put in time and work towards their goal. It will not be easy or given to the person, there is a lot of time and energy put to having what one wants. Another idea Gladwell explains is the amount of time one is willing to put in and how that makes one an expert. “Researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: 10,000 hours” (Gladwell 2008, pp.

40). Gladwell’s idea of hard work and dedication to whatever it is that you want to become an expert at takes at least 10,000 hours. I agree with him, but only to a certain point. It is true that in order to become someone well knowledgeable on a certain activity or topic one must practice and put in time. I do not necessarily agree that 10,000 hours should be the exact number for “true expertise” as Gladwell calls it, but it definitely should not be a few hours. For example, ideally doctors should be one of the most specialized fields.

They are ones performing their knowledge on people and I honestly would not want a doctor that has gotten a few hours of practice to do anything to me, because there is more of a chance that they are not as experienced as someone else that has been working for decades as a doctor. An educated person should be willing to put in time to practice which is what makes someone good at their specialization. Rich’s idea of “claiming an education” also applies within our pursuit to defining an educated person. Rich explains that a student should not think about education as “receiving it”, but to be thought of as “claiming it” (Rich 1979 pp.

365). Rich explains that claiming an education is taking as if one were the owner. I agree with Rich, students should have the mentality of taking the education being given to them. There is a difference between claiming what is rightfully yours, and taking what if rightfully yours. One difference is that when you claim something, you are putting in effort to learning what is being taught. For example, a student that goes to class and learns whatever the lesson was for that day, would in my terms be called receiving.

On the other hand, if that same student were to go to the instructor’s office hours and basically use the resources that there are around campus, that would be claiming. The mere difference of going one step above the other makes the difference between the two. Rich also backs this idea of claiming, with the simple act of participating in class, becoming more engaged in class and the teacher’s professional life. This idea of claiming an education is not limited to those in school, because not every educated person goes to college, or needs a college degree.

It is helpful in order to have something to fall back upon. One way we can connect the idea of claiming an education without going to school, could be my father’s story. His decision of dropping out of high school did not stop him from doing what he wanted to do. He claimed his rights to learning about how to create his own company and becoming a successful entrepreneur, without having a business college degree. Claiming your rights as a human being over all is what counts. Anyone should be able to express their passion for something.

In my father’s case, he first started by working at a small local shop as a cashier, but he found himself not doing what he loved, “I loved helping people, make their houses bigger or just fixing their house up for them. ” (Gomez 2014). My father eventually stopped receiving, and started claiming. An educated person is one who does not receive, but one that claims and demands their ability to practice their passion. Give a child a list of three words with a definition to each, allow them to memorize it and few minutes later, they can regurgitate it back to you.

As an education major, it is easy to go a whole year teaching children a certain vocabulary words, or teaching them how to solve a math problem, but explaining why the answer is the answer, is a lot more difficult. Wagner explains that many students lack “intellectual challenges” (Wagner 2008, pp. xxv). A class lacking intellectual challenge for students can cause a downfall in the future. Providing students with more rigorous work and questioning their solutions, prevents them from finding lessons uninteresting and eventually leading them to want to drop the course, or worse yet, want to drop out of school.

For example in history class, one has to remember specific dates, but also know why several of these specific events happened or what lead to it. I was one of them. Rarely do students remember what lead to wars, or life historically changing events, like the great depression because they are just taught either to memorize the dates or they find it easier to only remember the dates and names of important historical figures. The same concept can be applied to mathematics, where one has to know how to solve the problem, but does not always know why a certain formula was used or why it only works with that certain problem.

According to Wagner, knowing the answer is not sufficient, one must know and be able to critically think about the end result. Therefore, an educated person should be willing to not only claim their education, but also be able to apply more critical thinking and reasoning. Which by later exercising that through practicing and preparing, one can accomplish their goals. Lastly, I interviewed my father, because he is the first man I have ever admired. He was able to successfully carry out a career that he did not go to college for.

Matter of fact, he never went to college, and only completed a few years of high school. Through my interview with him, he allowed me to truly appreciate and admire him a lot more. One main adversity he got through was coming in to the United States, he believes that without coming to the United States his success would not have been possible. “Coming from a huge family, having 8 brothers and 7 sisters you did not always get what you wanted” (Gomez 2014). My father further explained that he was always having to share his things and he never had the opportunities that I have today.

“I had to run a whole mile in order to get to class, there were no buses, because we lived in the country, and I had to run to the city every morning to get to school” (Gomez 2014). My father continues with his story, “every morning we all had to do chores, mine were taking care of the farm animals. I would milk the cows every morning and since I had to do my morning chores before school, sometimes I ran late and I had to go to school smelling like farm animals and sweat” (Gomez 2014). The dedication put into working back then is not the same today. For everything there is always an excuse made up.

I myself have made many excuses, but it takes an educated person to not make excuses. He could have easily said I am not walking a mile to go to school, but he was determined. My father did not drop out of school because he was failing his classes. At age 18 he became an innocent victim in a shooting, in which he was shot in the stomach and had missed a big portion of his senior year. He was months away from graduating, but he never was able to complete his missed classes due to the lack of support from his teachers, he explained. He after started his own family and came to the United States when I was born.

“You are the luckiest one of everyone in the family” he told me, “your sisters do not have the opportunity that you have and an educated person is one who can make the best situation out of a tough one” (Gomez 2014). Without doubt, my father was able to create a self-made company. He was the only one of his 15 siblings to become an entrepreneur, and today in my eyes he is the most successful. An educated person would ideally be my own father, who was willing to put in time to learn about his passion, claim his rights as a United States resident and created his own business, and lastly he did fall victim to adversity.

An educated person and a successful person go hand in hand, but the definitions are endless, and open to many interpretations, but what makes either person educated or successful, depends on what they are willing to give up in order to become their best person. An educated person is one who no matter what is willing to put in time in order to be called an expert at his passion. Someone who rightfully claims the ability to carry out their love for their passion and lastly, someone who does not fall victim to adversity.

? Bibliography Gladwell, Malcolm. “The 10,000-Hour Rule” in Outliers, 34-68. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2008. Gladwell, Malcolm. “Rice Paddies and Math Tests” in Outliers, 224-249. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2008. Gustavo Gomez, interview by Alondra Gomez, April 28, 2014. Rich, Adrienne. “Claiming and Education” in On Lies, Secrets and Silence, 365-369. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1979. Wagner, Tony. The Global Achievement Gap, intro xix-xxviii. New York: Basic Books, 2008.


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 22 November 2016

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