Red Pencil Educating Our Youth Term Paper

Pages: 6 (1710 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching

Red Pencil

The author Theodore Sizer shed light upon his fifty years of being a professor at Brown, dean of Harvard's Graduate School of Education, and headmaster of Phillips Academy. Although the book repeats the themes contained in his earlier books, yet here he has discussed and pointed more of national incapability to differentiate teaching from learning. He argued that formal schooling become accustomed and faces many strong influences that are discovered or created outside the classroom (Publishers Weekly).

The book follows a well formatted path with the conclusion that educational policy should be a product resulting from an amalgamation of family, school, and government benefit (Publishers Weekly). He has presented options just like many reform-minded educators before him, along with recommended provision outside the school building that would plan every child's educational program around his/her specific requirements and potential.

To sum up the introduction, the book is readable and emotional written by one of the America's distinguished educators; and is appropriate for not only public but also academic collections (Publishers Weekly).

About the Author

The author of "The Red Pencil" Theodore R. Sizer is the chairman and founder emeritus of the Coalition of Essential Schools. it's a national network of schools and centers involved in reformation and redesigning schools. Sizer who is the author of many books is a University Professor Emeritus at Brown University and Visiting Professor of Education at Harvard and Brandeis University (Publishers Weekly).

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In this book, this famous educator reflects on experiences from his life and memorable career to offer an ardent critique of American schools along with present central government assertion of authority that had been a local and regional concern (Publishers Weekly).

Summary & Analysis of the Book

Term Paper on Red Pencil Educating Our Youth Assignment

The veteran educator after almost fifty years spending his life upon pondering American secondary schools found that minute changes have occurred since the time he was a student. He said "There is great strength in tradition," but the teaching ways engaged since 1946, are very much unproductive, to this day and even today students' future success is mainly determined by their social class and not by their school achievements. Thus, his frustration with American education is blatant in the book, cautiously not only discussing the three "silences" of education but also proposed methods to prevent them.

Summary & Analysis dean, teacher, researcher, professor and principal; Theodore R. Sizer brings to readers an appealing and valuable critique of American education enfold in a chronicle. He draws attention on his fifty years by identifying three critical areas wherein policy discussion regarding public education has been seriously ignored. He recommended and argued that this ignorance and silence should be broken and all should rethink of educating this youth.

He further discussed the unsuccessfulness of understanding the difference between teaching and learning, as formal schooling should be familiarize with and meet the strong influences found beyond usual classrooms. According to him there should be both practical as well as philosophical necessity in order to share policy-making authority among schools and centralized governments and families. In addition, those who have the belief that the common routines existing for generations are the only way to bring learning to children should be denounced immediately (Barnes & Noble).

Thus, he just didn't only criticize on this issue but also provided alternatives to these unsuccessful routines. He presented guidelines for creating a new educational system that would, break with inefficient traditional education practice, make use of agencies and arrangements outside school, and reconstruct every child's educational program according to the child's needs and feasibility (Barnes & Noble).

According to Sizer dialogue between school administrators and their interrogators breaks down over the difference between teaching and learning that includes the matter of authority, the arrangement and sequence of the educational system. He gave proposal being a principal, teacher trainer, professor and school designer that honors students' distinctions and permits for individual attention. He approves philosophies that "stress the importance of free minds [and] individual responsibility and creativity (Barnes & Noble)."

Critical Review

The book is agreeably liberated of weighty educational terminology, having both author's problems and solutions that will probably be common to all the related educators. It is considered to be an enlightening book by many where his coherent arguments and his own experiences reflected as a major figure in educational reform (Yale University Press).

However, he usually focused on the negative aspect of the education. It appeared while reading this book that there is something very basically wrong about the schools that should be weeded out (Yale University Press). Also, he was not able to successfully jot down exactly what is wrong with the education of youth at times, he along with Robert Coles and others, seemed to have the same opinion that there are so many youths who are separated by the system.

Some of the students have learned newer ways and methods to cheat and lie to the system so that they may achieve success in the short-term. These students do not possess the actual lust for learning and also do not possess the true idea of quality and distinction. The author shows his concern for these students because they have found ways and methods to take unjustified benefits from the loopholes of the system (Barnes & Noble).

The author is also concerned about the attitude of the bureaucracy because they are the real evils who have not allowed the system to flourish and realize its true potential. He criticizes the mindset of the bureaucrats who try to enfold this broad process of education by their visionless policies and backward attitudes (Barnes & Noble). By reviewing his writing, it is clear that he is not bothered by the amount of rules and regulations, micromanagement or indiscipline set up by the bureaucracy but rather the attitude with which they execute their tasks.

The author seems to express that the standard of education has not achieved its true potential, however he falls short of clearly explaining what standards of education should have been achieved. Nonetheless, he invites all the concerned people to visualize the standards that can be achieved, if the present system moves beyond the stated parameters of workings (Yale University Press).

It is clear that the author is an idealist and that he wishes to achieve perfection through all possible means and measures. However, it is also clear that a more strong and forceful way of thinking is needed to tackle the evil encompassing the education system today. Many other educational visionaries have given ideas of a moral and honored worldview, excessive individual freedom, making efforts to acclimatize the individual to democracy; however, the author does not support any of these theories (Yale University Press).

The author does not support Rudolf Steiner's concept of skills being the sole way for achieving enlightenment in the sphere of education. Furthermore, neither does he support Martin Luther King, Jr. On the idea of amalgamation nor does he support Herbart on the challenge to the self to boost scientific relevance of psychology to wisdom (Yale University Press).

Sizer has ideas of liberalization, despite the fact that some of his ideas may appeal to both the liberal class, as well as, the conservative class. He proclaims that the reason for such backward stature of the education in today's youth are many (Rotherham, 2005): the administration lacks the ability to lay the foundations of a good institution and hiring good teachers, the students complain of boredom, financial restrictions, old fashioned thinking and customs that hamper education instead of enhancing them and also patchy and second-rate standards.

Thus, to sum up the analysis, Ted Sizer has been very disappointed with the educational system that has been established in the United States of America. His views rest on the negative side of the scale (Rotherham, 2005). Most of the tests, managements, prospectus, analysis, parent-school relations, educational set ups, supervision, regulations, and legal arrangements are wrong. Even so, his idea that only the repair of the whole system will fix the problem of an individual is seen as impulsive and centered on many theoretical notions (Barnes & Noble).

His anticipation for an American educational system to be based on his visualized restructuring is fruitless and his negative thoughts about the classroom being a place of unsuccessful prospects and widespread rejection are of no good either (Barnes & Noble).

Conclusion of the Book

Overall, the book is persuasive, wisely written and powerful critique of American schooling. It sets forth a hard hitting proposal for improvement that should be considered by not only parents and policy-makers but also by general readers (Yale University Press).

In addition, Sizer's book doesn't just have complaints. The Red Pencil expressively revives his 1968 voucher proposal. Although present day school choice argument obscures it, yet during that time school vouchers were considered to be an elegant idea among liberal academics.

The Red Pencil can be termed as a vigorous play through educational ground competition. It is aimed to be at once a journal, a series of notes… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Red Pencil Educating Our Youth.  (2005, May 5).  Retrieved September 19, 2020, from

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"Red Pencil Educating Our Youth."  5 May 2005.  Web.  19 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Red Pencil Educating Our Youth."  May 5, 2005.  Accessed September 19, 2020.