Baldwin established his credibility throughout the entire essay. A key point in his rhetoric is that he does not shy away from the fact that he is not a schoolteacher, but rather begs for those who are schoolteachers to forgive him (p. 17). He then backs himself up later in the essay when he states “[i]t is your responsibility to change society if you think of yourself as an educated person” (p. 19). Within this sentence Baldwin seems to not only be talking about children but also about himself and how important it was for him to be an educated man. He— and many others for that matter— thought of him as an educated man and it was worth the risk to stand up for something, which needed to be dealt...
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... is directed towards schoolteachers and how they need to teach differently, it also points towards the growing of the next generation. It is amazing the thought and compassion behind Baldwin’s works and how much he has put into arguing such a touchy subject. He literally instills fear into his audience to the point where they cannot prevent taking action to change the way they teach. Whether or not someone argues with Baldwin’s argument it is still inevitable that the tension within the essay is creatively and wonderfully done. With Baldwin’s educated status and his persuasive personality his work is beautifully pieced together to create an undeniable force of authority for change in the education system.
Baldwin, James. “A Talk to Teachers.” 1963. Yearbook of the National Society for the
Study of Education. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2008. 17-20.
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