A Retrospective Reflection Of Our Educational System

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A Retrospective Reflection of Our Educational System
In Jane Tompkins, A Life in School: What the Teacher Learned, Jane uncovers flaws in the American education system and how poorly formal education prepares pupils for careers after schooling. She describes how her teachers at P.S. 98 used authority to form the person she is now, teaching at Duke. Her experience dabbling in alternative teaching methods established the path she took throughout her career. Although Tompkins experience in public school is atypical of most students, I agree with her argument about how fear is a successful means of motivation for those that can succumb to it, but alternatives exist that have been demonstrated and are successful.
Tompkins describes how authority drove her to success throughout her grade school year’s using vivid imagery. Fear was used as a means to scare her into success. Jane’s view of her memories produced from this fear is described as “negative” and “painful” (25). She reconciles her view of these negative memories by recognizing that she possibly tainted her memories with her own view. Here, Tompkins recognizes how monumental the effect of authority had on her childhood and tries to rationalize her previous experience with her current views of teaching in her professional career (25-26). My own experience in grade school left me without respect for instructors who use fear to motivate their students. A few of my teachers abused this authority in a way that kept me behind
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