The article suggests that some young people are capable of functioning competently as the adults do. The author has faith in the capabilities of the young people and is convinced that these young people should be allowed to vote, drive as well as own property instead of being forced to attend high school before getting on with their real life.
The first compulsory education law in the United States of America was enacted as early as 1852. This law was competency-based as it required all young people aged between 8 and 14 to attend school unless they could demonstrate they knew the material. This was opposed by the Democratic Party as it argued that the state was interfering with the rights of conscience in childrens education.
School systems were created during the Great Depression as labor unions tried to protect adult jobs due to the high unemployment rate. Laws were formulated to prohibit youth employment in pretenses of teaching industrial discipline to the young people as well as homogenizing their thinking.
Personally, I believe that young people are as competent as the adults regarding memory, perception, and intelligence. However, these young people should be incorporated into the school system to make them mature and organize their thinking. Questions provoking discussions are: Are the compulsory education law discriminatory as it exempts those deemed to be better than others from school? Should young people who portray maturity be given adult duties?
Reading 2: The Rise and fall of The American Teenager
The American teenager is thought to have many defects and compromises of life but is capable of performing heroically when necessary. Teenagers are unique to the society, they are expected to make some mistakes, but have restrictions that apply to just them.
Adolescents are becoming but not yet mature, as they increasingly lose their innocence. They are typically not accepting the fact that they are grown, mature and responsible. The teenagers are usually unable to keep their energies under control.
Teens are vulnerable and frail. They need many years of training and study as they know more about the future even better than the adults. Therefore, they should be protected from the world of work. They should be protected from drugs and taught sexual abstinence.
My opinion is that teenagers should be allowed to lead their own lives but under the watch of the parents, teachers and other adults. The community as a whole should set good examples for the young people. There are contradicting views about teenagers; should they be free to become themselves? Should teenagers have many years of school for training and studying?
Video 1: American Teen
American Teen revolves around the lives of five teenagers; a geek, an artsy girl, a jock, a heartthrob and a popular girl in a particular town in Indiana while in their senior year of high school. Throughout the film, we see the high school life of an American teen.
The film is filled with cliques, jealousies, insecurities, first loves, and heartbreaks. These are the typical challenges as well as events that surrounds every American teen in the modern world.
The teens are faced with numerous struggles as they make important decisions about their future as they peruse education which is their primary activity of their age and period. With incredible intimacy as well as a large amount of humor, the film shows the pressures of growing up that comes from the parents, teachers, peers as well as oneself.
Personally, I dont think that the excessive pressure that these teens are put under to succeed should be there. For instance, Colin is put into much pressure to play for the basketball team to make people, school, town and father proud as well as win the scholarship. The thoughts that provoke discussion in this film are; can teenagers make sound important life decisions on their own?
The two readings and the video talk about teenagers. Teenagers are portrayed as having many defects and compromises of life, unable to make important decisions but some also thought to be more composed and mature. The role of teenage education has been the center of discussion. Let Abolish High School assumes that high school is a waste of childrens home while The Rise and fall of The American Teenager emphasize the importance of high school.
Epstein, R. (2007). Lets abolish high school. Education Week, 26(31), 28.
Hine, T. (2000). The rise and fall of the American teenager. Harper Collins.
[Two Movies]. (2008, Nov 26). American Teen. [Video File]. Retrieved From http://twomovies.tv/full_movie/30/486259/1/
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