In the Essay “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society” by Johnathan Kozol. Mr. Kozol uses quotes, key points, experiences and his knowledge companied by effective forms of rhetoric throughout the essay to speak to highly educated and intelligent individuals who have to power to make a difference. He explains in detail how an illiterate society is affecting not only the illiterate’s life, but also the country’s democracy, and endangering the lives around them as well. He interviews individuals who share their experiences of fear, hopelessness, confusion and frustration when dealing with everyday life situations that most people could figure out on their own.
Literacy is a powerful and important skill that every person should have the chance to learn. Literacy allows a person to have a successful career and education, communicate with other people, and form and express educated opinions and thoughts. The struggles of an illiterate person are shown in an excerpt from “Learning to Read and Write,” which was written by a former slave, Fredrick Douglas. Throughout the excerpt, Douglas describes the many obstacles and hardships he faced while learning to read and write. In one instance, he shows how literacy plays an important role in having and keeping a job.
Illiteracy is not limited to children, teenagers, adults, a particular socio-economic level, or a particular race. When George, now 68, was a child he moved frequently because his father ran a small circus. He never stayed in one place long enough to learn how to read. Finally, he quit school, never to return. Now after retirement, he has decided to learn how to read. He arrived at the library reading room to find the door was locked. The sign indicated that a key was available at the information desk, but George did not know what the sign said. So he sat down and waited several hours for someone to open the door. Meh Chin from China, the mother of a third grader, is interested in communicating better with her children, who have already become fluent in English at an early age.
Unschooled people tend to be the outcasts of society and typically hold the least desirable jobs. Education is not only essential to attain a better paying job, but also elevates your individual status in society. Being knowledgeable changes the way others will perceive you and how they accept you. For those that don’t come from a fortunate background, education makes everything equal. Since education today is more accessible than years past, individuals from a less high social class are now able to compete with a larger number of professions. Having had a fine education places you on the same level as many others, which gives you an advantage to climb up on the social scale, lowering social inequality. For instance, Linda Chavez, the author of “We Were Poor, but I Didn’t Know It” and Cesar Diaz, author of “The Effects of Rio Grande Valley on a Scholarship Boy”, were both raised in a lower social class. They did not have much growing up but discovered that education was the key to
In his essay “The Human fee of an Illiterate Society,” Jonathan Kozol addresses the challenges that people who 're functionally illiterate face on an everyday basis, and posits the argument that society at significant suffers from this concern as good. For illustration, Kozol mentions the fact that many of these people vote blindly or do not vote at all in elections, concluding that their uninformed votes could have influenced the elected officials who took place of business. He offers sobering facts, corresponding to the truth that 60 million men and women that were functionally illiterate in 1980, and provides first-hand quotes from a few of those affected. His article
If a child is a seed, then the education he receives is the water that helps him bloom into a flower. In a country of one billion almost half of the citizens are uneducated and illiterate. The thing that I feel strongly about and which should be eliminated is the lack of education and literacy.
Both authors want what is best for society overall, which in their views are individuals that are “socially well-adjusted and educated citizens who are industrious…[and] benefit society” (Ray par. 1) by creating a stronger work force. This issue is not only important for each student’s future, but over time it has become a focus of parents as they try to ensure the absolute best education for their child. As Cox found, “an increasing number of parents are recognizing the battle that is waged for their children’s hearts and minds” (Cox p. 34) and it is important that their children are equipped with the best hearts and minds so they can effectively function in society. Both of the authors for these articles acquired advanced education which may explain their bias toward the importance of education. However, evidence shows that education is one of the factors responsible for the success of a nation. Workers, who after graduation are able to “enter the working world equipped with the same basic education,” have a step up from those who were not able to fulfill those educational standards. While society says that it values education, it is apparent that actions are not being seriously taken by the educated population to effectively keep public education as a focus in policy holder’s hands.
In reality, people with an education tend to be very successful while the people without an education tend to be unsuccessful. Education is a key factor that defines the basis of human-beings and lays the foundation for human development. It also plays a major role in creating a huge gap in the division within the social classes. This huge gap is due to unsuccessful education that exists in society. There are many factors that contribute to unsuccessful education which include expensive education, the quality of education, and disadvantaged individuals. Education is an important aspect of society that needs affordability, skilled and professional teachers, and resources in order to be successful and conform to societal standards.
When talking about illiteracy there is a distinction between functional and primary illiterate, with the latter being persons that have absolutely no skills of reading and writing in any language and the former having possibly received some years of basic education but currently no more than the most basic writing and reading skills (OECD, 2013, Grotlüschen & Riekmann 2012). This may lead to devastating limitations of everyday life and professional life as well as dependence on others or isolating aspects. In this paper I will only refer to functional illiterates. There are 4.4 million functional illiterates with German as their first...
Education is the source of all power allowing people to achieve any dream they choose. A person without a true education is nothing more than an empty shell living an empty and pointless life. The process of education begins at conception and the human mind continues to learn until the time of their death but most lessons are learned in the first five years of life. When the topic of education is discussed it isn’t how much is needed but how best to provide the education. The need for high quality education is typically agreed upon; how best to provide that education is not as easily as settled. The line in the sand has been drawn with neither side willing to back down and possible casualties are the children.
Illiteracy poses a threat to political, economical and social constructions that shapes the individual life. Jonathan Kozol laid out the idea that illiteracy is detrimental to human lifestyle. He supported that claim, saying, “Illiterates live an uninsured existence,” meaning that they cannot take care of themselves, as they are unable to make the right decisions. This disability burdens them because they can’t be independent but dependent on a friend, family, co-worker, or a stranger. Undeniably, in the “I Just Wanna Be Average” text, one sees Ken Harvey’s story of growing up, being labeled as “slow”, which he took for granted and believed it. As a result of that Ken didn’t want to become better, he just wanted to get by and be “average”. Which could be considered an example of not having his own identity as Ken assumed the one he was given, of being “Slow”. This, example confirms Jonathan Kozol’s views on illiterates in our society. Therefore, we see a point of commonality concerning our society and the school system that is meant to educate us and help us become better human beings but otherwise fails to, as it separates the somewhat educated from the ones that are considered beyond average. This similarity reveals the
Education has always been in existence in one form or another. As each child is born into this world regardless of who or where they are born, life lessons immediately begin. He/she will learn to crawl, walk, and talk by the example and encouragement of others. Although these lessons are basic in the beginning they evolve as the child grows. However, the core learning method of a child does not change. Learning from others, they will watch, listen, and then act for themselves. Thomas Jefferson believed that an education would lead men and women to the ability to be self-governed and become positive contributors to society (Mondale & Patton, 2001). Today, we can see how true this is by the examples of others. Those that are given the opportunity for education are more likely to find jobs and develop skills that not only improve a community, but influence the economic growth of their nation (Ravitch, Cortese, West, Carmichael, Andere, & Munson, 2009, p. 13). On the other hand, if an education is not provided to individuals, they can become a hindrance to that nation’s growth.
Illiteracy is detrimental to any society. First people must know what it is before the problem can be fixed. Illiteracy can be defined as the inability to read or write. Lately illiteracy has been moved up to the ability to comprehend what one reads or writes. There are 40 to 44 million adults alone in the United States that do not have the ability to comprehend words that they are reading. This is an enormous problem that can lead to even more devastating effects.
Poverty is immensely one of the main causes of illiteracy, which is the reason that minorities are so greatly affected. People of a lower socioeconomic status cannot afford to send their children to schools of adequate competency nor can they afford the materials needed for their children to succeed. Cultural influence can be an impacting factor in illiteracy because children mimic the things that they see. Parents are encouraged to read with or to their children to attempt to bre...