Summary: “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word”
In this article, “In praise of the ‘F’ word”, Marry Sherry makes the point that in order to help kids do their school work and get their education; they must be threatened with failing. Before she started teaching her class, she would blame the poor academic skills our kids have today on drugs, divorce and other impediments to concentration necessary for doing well in school. She had an experience with her sons grade 12 English teacher. The teacher told Marry that because her son was talking in class, she wasn’t going to move him since he was a senior but was going to flunk him. At first she was a little put off by the fact that the teacher was going to take sure a drastic measure, but after a moment of thinking she realized that the teacher was making a reasonable decision. Marry goes on to talk about passing students who haven’t mastered school work cheat themselves, as well as their future employers who expect them to have those basic skills from high school. Their excuse for not having those skills is that kids can’t learn if they come from bad environments, but really the reason is that kids don’t put the right amount of school work into their lives as they should. Students that attend night classes are more determined to get their education and they make it their number one priority. Marry really believes in using flunking to help motivate kids to work harder because passing kids who aren’t actually doing the work are just going to suffer in the long run.
Sherry, Marry “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word” Developing Reading Versatility. 2003: Page 200-201
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