"Waiting for Superman" Visual Rhetoric Paper

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“One of the saddest days of my life was when my mother told me Superman didn’t exist... I was crying because there was no one coming with enough power to save us.” Just as many children look up to fictional characters such as Superman, parents rich or poor, look up to our school system to educate their children. However, too many of these parents are beginning to realize that proper education, like Superman, is nonexistent. In Waiting for “Superman,” Davis Guggenheim addresses the teachers union about the failing public school system in America. Through the use of ethos, anecdotes, statistics and visual and audio elements, Guggenheim attacks a problem too precious to let slip through our fingers. Davis Guggenheim is a father. A father who chose to put his children into private education, but with good reason. He has experienced the public school system and how it’s teachers operate first hand. In 1999, he produced a documentary about these teachers, so he knows what conditions he is working with. This is a key component of Guggenheim's ethos since he has the bias of a father who wants proper education for his children just as most other fathers would. He builds upon this by featuring well known, powerful people into the documentary. These people include: Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee and Bill Gates. Each adds their opinion to the subject. Geoffrey Canada is an educator who admit evens his first few years of teaching were rough. Because Canada states this, the audience is reassured that he knows what it takes to be a successful teacher. What better way to address the teachers union about the importance of high performing teachers than with a high performing teacher? Then there is Michelle Rhee. Rhee was the 7th new chancellor for the Washington D.C. public schools system in 10 years and claims she “knows they’re [kids] getting crappy education.” Her approach to changing the school system is more harsh than Canada's, but Rhee’s views are still...
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