Education and Despair

Topics: Education, School, Documentary film Pages: 16 (2448 words) Published: December 10, 2013

Despair in Today’s Educational System

Despair is a major problem in today’s educational system. Sadly, this is not a new problem. Students feel despair in having to deal with teachers that are unable or unwilling to teach as they should.

Their lives are fraught with personal issues that affect their ability to study and learn. Parents feel despair because they want the best education for their children. Sometimes they must fight against teachers, administrators, legislatures, etc. and are still unable to accomplish this.

Teachers feel despair because students do not apply themselves or they see bad teachers not removed from the system.
They experience despair because educational boards and school administrations turn a deaf ear to their plight.
School Boards and administrators are despaired because they do not have the funding or support of state and federal bureaucrats.
Where does it end? When does it end?
Let’s examine three works which show this problem and a possible solution. (Baldwin, 1985; Chilcott & Guggenheim, 2010)

James Baldwin: A Talk to Teachers

Originally delivered as a speech on Oct. 16, 1963 as
“The Negro Child–His Self-Image”
Originally published as a literary work in The Saturday
Review on Dec. 21, 1963
Reprinted in The Price of the Ticket: Collected Non-fiction
Literary work

Song of Despair–Shadegrown

Self-published work
Appears in a collection called Songs of Despair
This song composed between 1998 and 2002
Collection released in May 2007
(Shadegrown, 2007)

Waiting on Superman–Davis Guggenheim

Directed by Davis Guggenheim
Children profiled: Anthony, Daisy, Francisco, Bianca, & Emily Educators profiled: Geoffrey Canada, Bill Strickland, Michelle Rhee, David Levin, & Mike Feinberg
Public/Parochial School Districts profiled: Washington, D.C., East L.A., Bronx NYC, Harlem Catholic, & Silicon Valley, CA.
Charter Schools profiled: SEED Charter, KIPP LA, Harlem Success Academy, & Summit Preparatory Charter High School
This film documents the struggles of five young children wanting to succeed. It chronicles the struggles of the parents to acquire a quality education for their children. While the problem is shown as a huge problem in poor, inner-city schools; it also shows that schools in affluent neighborhoods are not immune to the same problems. Finally it offers what the director says is a solution.

(Chilcott & Guggenheim, 2010)

An Objective Analysis of “A Talk to Teachers”

This speech was turned into an essay and eventually
added to a collection of essays in 1985.
This essay is about the plight of the African-American
students in public schools in the early days of the Civil
Rights Movement.
It details how the educational system is designed to
serve the aims of the society at large; right or wrong.
(Baldwin, 1985)

An Objective Summary of “A Talk to Teachers” and How James Baldwin Presents His Subject

Baldwin begins by stating that they lived in a dangerous time and the enemy was from within our own society.

He continues that education is established to serve the aims of its society.

The author then shows that education and society gives conflicting data; especially where it involved the “negro” students of his day. They are told they are a part of a free society. But they do not experience that freedom.

Even though the child may not know what to make of all the input he receives; he knows there are reasons behind every action.

Baldwin shows how this affects the child, usually negatively, as they mature and make their way through academia.

He shows how the history of the African-Americans plays a vital role in the psyche of the student.

Baldwin shows how not accepting your pre-assigned...

References: Child – His Self-Image. Published (December 21,1963). The
Saturday Review

Shadegrown (2007)
(1998-2002). Eklepsei & digital self-release. Retrieved from on 16 Dec.
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