Jonathan Kozol’s Lecture: Education In America Movie Review Samples
Segment 1 (9:12) - Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgkZKTPEspg
The lecture conducted by Jonathan Kozol starts with the brief description of his path to the position of a teacher in segregated public schools. The turning point in the life of a successful Harvard graduate came right after the Ohio mass meeting of young people, who wanted to go to the South to run freedom schools and break the remaining apartheid system. The brutal murder of its leading activists by the Ku Klux klan had a stunning effect on the whole nation and changed Kozol’s understanding of what he should do in his life. Instead of becoming a professor of Classical English literature, Kozol started to educate small children in the black community of Boston and such decision resulted in 40 years of teaching practice among the black and latino populations. Segment 2 (7:11) – Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R09EfxHuIXA
The South Bronx and the Manhattan are the two districts that are only five minutes of subway apart but look as if belonging to absolutely different worlds. Jonathan Kozol points out that children residing in the South Bronx are exposed to many social problems. Chronic asthma of the majority of kids is escalated by the unhealthy industrial installations. Oftentimes, they can see their fathers only in prison, suffer from hunger and homelessness or lose some relatives to the AIDs epidemic. All these problems put pressure on children, the only fault of which is to be born to the drastically poor families. Jonathan Kozol is convinced that the task of the good society is to ensure the best possible educational and development environment for children who are deprived of many benefits and give them opportunity to break the wide-spread stereotypes.
Segment 3 (9:21) – Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDMEFUWnxKs
The situation in privileged families is totally different. Parents care for their children from the early childhood and spend much money for the prestigious pre-school developmental programs. At the age of 2 or 3, kids from the wealthy districts start their education and can pass qualification tests to get into the most gifted and talented groups. What happens to the ordinary public schools? They become segregated and the approximate percentage of black and hispanic children reaches 99,8%. Jonathan Kozol emphasizes that this is the tendency of the socially and economically conditioned apartheid and it cannot be changed until the governmental funding is not distributed between the city and the suburbs educational institutions on the equal basis. Segment 4 (9:01) – Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQsoU6CyGQw
The lecturer draws attention to the problem of unequal funding allocated by the government to average schools and to those in rich suburbs. Such differentiation affects significantly the quality of education. Teachers in poor segregated schools have lots of pupils in the classroom and feel under the pressure of following the state standard and making kids pass the upcoming tests. They have no any chance to track the course of children’s thinking and, consequently, uncover their hidden talents and motivation. Contrary to this, teachers in rich suburbs have the opportunity to pay attention to details and value the uniqueness each child. They do not force pupils to do something against their will but have enough time to listen to their needs and interests. Segment 5 (8:29) – Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jYfzwneh6U
Jonathan Kozol is strongly convinced that, despite being poor or rich, children are absolutely the same in their gentle, sincere, and sometimes worried attitude to the surrounding world and people whom they meet. The assumption that spending that much time in poor schools of South Bronx might be depressing is not true for Kozol. He is always stirred by the possibilities open in front of him, but feels really depressed only expressing his concerns to the people wielding power in Washington. No one can be patient with the drawbacks of the neutral governmental attitude to such social issues because the child can never be 3 years old again. If teachers lose a chance to help in early development and education, they can never reverse or compensate it in future. Segment 6 (4:42) – Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_H5dOD1XgQ
Jonathan Kozol’s mother, who is now 100 years old, was a rock of strength throughout all his life. When he got fired from the Boston school for introducing a black poem not permitted by the curriculum and joined civil rights protests, his mother came out to the march as well and showed her immense support. The lecturer persuades us how important it is to give a credit to our parents and value the role they perform in our lives. Once all of us will die but the trace we leave in history will always remain. We should always act wisely and understand how our contribution can change the society.