Dana Goldstein's article in Education Life attracted a lot of attention from stakeholders of the education sector. The focus of the article is the inability of American school children to write proper sentences. According to Goldstein (2017), the root of the problem is the lack of sufficient training for the teachers, who are also weak and unconfident writers themselves, to teach writing skills to the kids. After reading the article, these are the factors that I was able to pick up from the conversation.
I feel like the article does answer the question of what it set out to do, and that is to provide an answer to why kids can't write. I still think that the reporter is right about the inability of children to write. I was among the children that can't write at some point of my life. On the other hand, Goldstein uses the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) data and ACT exam writing section as evidence for her claim that three-quarters of 8th and 12th graders lack writing proficiency. I don't think that classroom teachers rely solely on evidence taken from standardized tests such as NAEP and ACT. The teachers know that that kind of proof is only created for circumstances that fit the school environment. The standardized portions of the tests can curtail pre-writing, writing, the revision, and editing process of the paper that's presented in class. Both of the examples shown are responses to a prompt, and the content is all under-developed. In a less stressful environment, with fewer restrictions that are needed for the writing process, the students can make adjustments by conforming to the writing process and make corrections where necessary.
For instance, Goldstein had time to prepare and think about the concept, drafting the paper, revising, editing and most of all, the motivation to develop such a document. If she directly uploaded her draft, then it would probably have had a few writing mistakes. However, in the classroom setting, there is hardly enough time for writing. There are constant interruptions such as announcements which compromises the writing process. On top of that, there is barely enough motivating factors for the student to come up with a perfect literary work. I think a newspaper article writer in the New York Times has more motivations to come up with an ideal piece as compared to a grade school student.
Nevertheless, the article makes strong points in support of the claim. But even more importantly it prompted the thought of whether there is a better and less burdening method of teaching children about the basics of writing. The author does make a few prepositions that I think could work to correct the mistakes. Goldstein proposes that educators shift the focus from exposing students to excellent writing to focusing on the fundamentals of grammar. The fundamentals of grammar establish a strong foundation from the start, hence allowing the student to build on the knowledge as he grows older.
However, I found the article to be an exciting peace that tries to address some of the significant troubles that plague the education sector. Some of the items that the author points out could work towards helping with the lack of writing proficiency or proper training to teachers. The piece has been very informative especially in regards to its recommendations. Most of all, the author has shown me that exposure to excellent writing does little to transfer to student writing.
Goldstein, D. (2017, August 2). Why Kids Can't Write. The New York Times. Retrieved May 9, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/education/edlife/writing-education-grammar-students-children.html
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