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Boys in the Back of the Class

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In the article “Boys in the back of the class”, the author Clarence Page tells us about the importance of high quality preschool education, the influence of gender gap, and social conditions on the level of intellectual and mental development; and the reverse of gender gap through such educational programs. The author faces us the fact that a lot of American preschoolers, which are shown up for first grade or kindergarten, are sorely unprepared for studying. He believes that high-quality preschool intervention programs, recently proposed by our President Barack Obama, will help preschoolers to improve and cultivate their studying and learning habits during their formation in early childhood.  Also Page has announced us about Obama plans concerning the investment of such programs and their economic efficiency. Therefore, such preschool educational establishments, which differ by their funding and forms, have been already fund in several states.

Page insists that equal access to education provides equal opportunities in life – even before kindergarten. That is why the preschool education must be provided to every child and available for all parents and families as an important background for further development of child.

Analysis

Focusing on the article’s issues, the author has substantiated them well. The impact is very effective due to the use of ethos, pathos and logos, and the appliance of “they say/ I say” method. It should be note that the logos part is weak a little and requires more logical persuasions and promises.

The author significantly uses ethos. Thus, he appeals and expresses support for Obama’s high-quality preschool programs and their positive influence on further education rate of individual and its mental development. In his every statement regarding these educational programs, the author highlights that they should be of high quality and concentrate on specific goals, otherwise, their implementation will have no positive outcome. That is why under the “universal” goal, we understand that such kind should be accessible to all children nationwide.

The author also draws our attention to the other potential benefit of these programs that has a reversing influence on alarming gender gap in academic performance, but remained unnoticed by the President. He confirms this idea with the references to scholars’ works in this field, which stated that gender gap favoring girls in academic performance, is shown up at early age and the high-quality preschool programs are destined also to improve children motivation and preparation in general and guy-culture attitudes during training in preschool institutions. At the same time Page insists on such undeniable fact that such factors as the level of socio-economic welfare and nationality of individuals have significant impact on infant development, gender gap and its further increase. He details that gender gap is wider and not limited for blacks that for whites, and for low income males. Also Page uses some statistics to contribute to sense of ethos, as demonstration of positive aspects of such educational programs both from the economic (benefits of investment) and social (concerning gender gap) point of view.

In general, the author makes good use of the “they say/I say” method to demonstrate the issue. The article successfully uses effective ethos. Page provides the credentials in the article, including profession and degrees (DiPrete, Buchmann of Ohio State University). Thus, not to leave his statements groundless, the author quotes us the works of famous scholars and researchers in this field, and thereby, he convinces us even more in an importance of the universal preschool programs for the development of children and its preparation to education. Page believes if these programs will be available for all strata of population, they can help to reverse gender gap among males and females, to increase motivation and to cultivate positive attitude about further education, its necessity and value for children from single parent households, low-income families, children of different nationalities and social strata. As we see, the author first shows us his own attitude, then provides quotations and explains them.

The author in his article advisably uses ethos and pathos, and the “they say I say” method. It is also should be noticed that the logos part is enough plenty. Furthermore, Page uses a lot of argumentation to convince the readers and all the arguments are used in appropriate way to make reading interesting and valuable.

Intervention

Certainly, good preschool education includes targeted trainings and activities, and helps children develop. First of all the main aim of such programs is cultivating of positive qualities of individuals, providing of healthy mental and physical development of children nationwide.

It is hard not to agree with the author that preschool intervention programs help children in their early learning and study habits (development of motor skills of child to increase ability to work with the hands and to control a pencil) are being formed, because mastering this at an early age aids them be prepared emotionally for kindergarten. Also the training and studying are provided equally for both boys and girls, thereby gender gap reverses during their formation. Simultaneously we should pay attention also to objective disadvantages such as if the institution is not of high quality with an experienced teachers it can spoil child's attitude towards school, and manage to behavior problems (if children are not controlled properly, they will also learn unfavorable social skills such as fighting, teasing and bullying) and lack of interest to further education. As we see, if the learning environment is not auspicious there will be no positive result.

On the one hand, I agree with Page that boys tend to be more high-spirited and less concentrated on their discipline and behavior than girls and gender gap in achievement and efforts is formed as early as kindergarten. But on the other hand, I insist that setting of moral values and motivation of the child are formed primarily involving parents, which serve as an example for their children and bring them up thus forming their attitudes towards different moral values. In this case, I appeal to Page’s statement that principally successful males come from two-parent families and benefit from strong model of strong male, who emphasizes on the value and importance of education.

It is difficult not to agree that such programs will reach obvious results concerning shaping and development of children from single parent households, low-income families and different social strata. But, yet, disparities remain, specifically in the division of quality across differing social strata and families. According Fuller and Bridges (2007), “Government covers between one-quarter and one-third of the total cost of early care and education nationwide, according to different estimates”(p.12). So, while the author argues that preschool should begin with equal opportunities for every child, the basic problem remains principal: would every individual receive education of approximately equal quality, to use it as a reliable basis for further education.

 Fuller and Bridges (2007) stated, “It turns out that many blue-collar and lower middle-class families are feeling the most painful pinch when it comes to preschool access. They often earn too little to pay high fees for a private or nonprofit preschool but too much to quality or publicly financed enrollment slots”(p.16).In this case I also agree with Page that every little individual, despite its race, family composition and financial level, should have equal access to education at high-quality preschool institutions.

We should perfectly understand and acknowledge the fact that for every individual its growth, development and education start at home. Every interaction with the other people, especially parents, every word a caregiver says to a child and every experience the infant receives, teaches the child something about the world. Sending a child to preschool at early age has the indisputable and obvious advantages, but the encirclement of the child and the environment in which it develops and grows remain the primary factors.

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