Head of the Class Analysis Paper

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We are all unique individuals with unique gifts to offer. And what makes us unique is our journey, for no two people have traveled the same path. Variables such as the state of the psyche, emotions, cognitive development and mindset, and individual achievement motivations all add to the uniqueness of various students. Each person has their own unique gifts to offer, but because of circumstance sometimes we aren’t able to develop our gifts to their full potential. In the short story “Head of the Class” the different characters were symbols of various kinds of unique students. My interpretation of “Head of the Class is that it’s a metaphor for how easy it is for schools to get caught up in a curriculum-driven agenda that can drain the uniqueness and individuality of students. Schools need to prove to parents, the public at large and government bureaucracy that they are delivering the goods.  Often this happens at the expense of individual children who just don’t seem to fit the norm.  Standardized (but often overstuffed) programs are designed around what society at large, and particular interest groups argue, that all people need to know.  Unfortunately these agendas often fail to meet the real needs of any individual child, but are able to create an illusion of success by ensuring that at least the average achievement is acceptable. The duck was superbly gifted at swimming, so much so that he was even a better swimmer than his own teacher. With proper care and attention, the duck could’ve been a leading innovator and pioneer at swimming. Instead of focusing on his adroitness in swimming, the school’s system instead scrutinized his less than average ability in running. He was persecuted for his inability to run well to the effect that with all the extra practice they made him do he lost some of the dexterity in his webbed feet which led him to only be an average swimmer. I believe the duck was intrinsically motivated to be a great swimmer because although he was...
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