Arts of the Contact Zone
Questions for a Second Reading:
1. In my opinion, the introductory story Pratt is telling about her sons and their baseball cards not only gets the reader interested in what is to come, but also gets them thinking a little about how worthy their education system. It sparked my interest to learn that her sons were learning their phonics not in school, but by reading the names and statistics of players on baseball cards. Later on, Pratt relates a story about Guaman Poma and his manuscript. She states that the essay was hard to read and very ungrammatical. This shows that he, also, was uneducated due to the fact that he couldn’t write properly. Like Poma’s inability to be literate, the Incas weren’t literate either. A passage in the book states that the Incas weren’t able to read what Poma had written. Granted part of this reason is because Poma couldn’t write correctly, but even if he could, the Incas had no system of education. Therefore, none of them knew how to read. The third valid point to support my theory was the example of her son and the system of how his classroom worked. Like the text says, most classrooms work in a homogenous way. This means that the teacher has the most authority over all of the students. By teaching in this way, most of what the students are going to learn are in the teacher’s point of view. This isn’t right because it only gives the kids a sense of what one person has to say, rather than reflecting opinions off each other. After reading this story a few times, one of the central arguments that appears is that in every situation given, education lacks some way. In the first example, her sons were learning more from baseball cards than they were in school. For the second, it is obvious education lacks because it appears as though nobody knows how to read or write a simple text. Lastly, moral in the education system isn’t there. If a teacher is the only one speaking, nothing...
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