I’ve seen worse than this guy’s article, but link to point out the tone of the guy. He doesn’t talk much about the students who are succeeding. The ability to use education, and to a lesser extent certification, to change social status is a rather important part of America. Every example he uses at the end of the article to show the effect of literature is as a push in only one direction, and when I read it I see a writer who thinks of his students as not only dumb as rocks but also hopelessly unfeeling and lacking compassion.
It does suck that the professor has to teach people skills for which the student is clearly unready. If I were in the position described by the hapless professor, the first thing I’d do is establish an entering gate; failing that, an entering test to make it clear what a student will need to be able to do in order to succeed in his class so that the unready student realizes the world of hurt about to happen. Maybe the knowledge of the student is not the quality the professor likes. Maybe the professor is part of the problem too.
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