The article by Kozol is highly rhetorical in nature because although the information provided is factual in nature, it is told in the form of a story. Within the article, the general tone is engaging because this approach engages the reader more effectively than other styles. The highly personal nature of the article offers a lighter tone, but it also provides relevant information regarding the subject which captures the reader’s attention. The author’s primary argument is that students are subject to scripts each and every day in the classroom setting and that these scripts could prepare them for one or more roles in the future. These roles are career paths or choices that are made upon graduation.
The examples provided in the article regarding higher education are important indicators of the serious nature of the subject matter; however, the author presents a somewhat lighter tone because he evaluates students in school in the context of actors preparing for roles in future productions. Many different examples of schools are offered to demonstrate the importance of current problems in education, while also focusing on issues of importance to today’s educators (Kozol). In this context, the article represents a personal narrative approach as a means of sharing ideas and generating questions regarding how to improve the educational system in this manner (Kozol). In each course, students must audition with their teachers in order to determine if they are effectively prepared to manage the roles that they must play. Rather than focus on what matters most, many schools and teachers emphasize these roles rather than practical real-world solutions that could help students to become what they want to be as they grow older.
The article tells a story and provides many different examples of students in audition mode in schools where priorities are less than ideal. These circumstances are ripe for errors in judgment and a failure to succeed. On the contrary, students should not be treated as actors but rather as real people with real problems that must be addressed in the classroom setting. When schools stop treating students in this manner, then it will be possible to improve student performance and outcomes to prepare for the real world.
Kozol, Jonathan. ”Preparing minds for markets.” 530-541.