Modern Interest in School

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Modern Interests in Schools
Modern technology has become a wide topic of debate among many people including, college professors and teachers, concerned parents, and old-fashioned elders. Over the past 30 years, technology has progressed into a part of a person’s every day social and business life. With a sky-rocketing progression in new technology, come many concerns about the effects technology has on current society. Authors Amy Goldwasser, a freelance editor for famous magazines Vogue, Seventeen, and the New Yorker, and Gerald Gaff, professor of English and education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, discuss the ever-popular debate on modern technology and the role in plays in schools. Goldwasser and Graff’s articles, “What’s the Matter with Kids Today?” and “Hidden Intellectualism” approach the topic in a different sense. Goldwasser expresses her thoughts through technology and Graff expresses his mainly through sports, yet both authors discuss the latter debate; the advantages of modern technology and the new curriculums in schools that should be a result of them. Even though Goldwasser and Graff appear to be arguing two different subjects, they are actually in agreement that schools need to catch the students’ attentions by initially practicing what interests the students. This common ground becomes clear when both authors acknowledge young people’s “stunning ignorance” of academics, both blame the cause of the lack of knowledge on the school system, and both agree that teenage interests can be used to increase academic scores.

Goldwasser immediately jumps into her subject of concern, explaining that today’s American teenager is different from previous generations. She begins her article with a fact throwing in her own sarcastic personality: “A phone (land line!) survey of 1,200 17-year-olds, conducted by the research organization Common Core and released February 26 [2008], found our young people to be living in ‘stunning ignorance’ of history and literature” (Goldwasser 236). Goldwasser announces her first point that there is a problem with students’ lack of knowledge of events and literature in school. She also adds in a little sarcasm about today’s use of phones to show her fun and relaxed personality. Adding such a remark sparks the readers’ attentions and they are willing to continue reading. Goldwasser then explains that voluntary reading among 13- to 17-year-olds has decreased over time resulting in the above fact that today’s teenagers know less about important subjects in schools (236). Goldwasser continues with that statement saying, “. . . Doris Lessing’s condemnation, in her acceptance speech of the Nobel Prize in literature, of ‘a fragmenting culture’ in which ‘young men and women . . . have read nothing, knowing only some specialty or other, for instance, computers’” (237). This quote summarized from Doris Lessing [88-year-old who specializes in typewriters or pens] proves many views on the American teenager, that they only know one thing, technology. Goldwasser is describing others’ opinions, but she herself is convinced that there is nothing wrong with students today. Some may believe Goldwasser’s view on the effects of technology in teenagers is negative, but continuing to read one will soon find out that Goldwasser feels nothing can stop the progression of technology but technology can be a positive attribute in schools. In conclusions, Goldwasser acknowledges the American teenager’s ignorance and lack of knowledge in academic activities and recognizes that technology can play a positive role in learning. Like Goldwasser, Graff also jumps right into students’ lack of familiarity of school subjects. He first states that there doesn’t have to be a difference between “street smarts” and “book smarts”. Graff begins his article declaring that “Everyone knows some young person who is impressively ‘street smart’ but does poorly in school” (297). He just cannot fully grasp why someone...
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