Leon Botstein`s “Let Teen-Agers Try Adulthood”

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LeonBotstein’s “Let Teen-Agers Try Adulthood”


  1. Annotated Bibliography on Leon Botstein’s Let Teen-Agers Try Adulthood

  1. Baer, D. (2015). High school in America is creating a mental health crisis and these numbers prove it. Business Insider. Retrieved from: http://www.businessinsider.com/we-need-to-abolish-high-school-2015- 4?IR=T

  2. Clydesdale, T.T. (2007).The first year out: understanding American teens after high school. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

  3. Fenstermacher, G.D., Osguthorpe, R.D., &amp Sanger, M.N. (2009). Teaching morally and teaching morality. Teacher Education Quarterly, 7-19.

  4. Hansen, B &amp Lang, M. (2011). Back to school blues: seasonality of youth suicide and academic calendar. Economics of Education Review, 30, 850-861.

  5. Hoff, S.C.(2009). How moral education is finding its way back into America’s Schools. Hoover Press, 19(24):23-41.

  6. Leon Botstein (1999). Let teen-agers try adulthood. New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/17/opinion/let-teen-agers-try- adulthood.html.

  7. Meiners, E.R. (2011). Ending the school-to-prison pipeline/building abolition futures. Urban Rev, 187, 1-19.

  8. Solnit, Rebecca (2015). Abolish High School. Harpers Magazine. Retrieved from: http://harpers.org/archive/2015/04/abolish-high-school/3/

  1. The Annotated Bibliography- Discussion (6 paragraphs)

LeonBotstein (1999). Let teen-agers try adulthood. NewYork Times.Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/17/opinion/let-teen-agers-try-adulthood.html.

Inthis article presented by the New York Times, Botstein elaboratesthat, American High Schools have been eroded by public admiration ofimmorality at the expense of the most valuable thing, education. Ashe narrates, there is a general acceptance of bad behavior amongteens across American middle high schools which he believes is atypical degradation to the real apparatus of junior high schooleducation. He says that, the American education community appreciatessports and popularity of a school and not its intellectualperfection. As a result, many school administrators are either formercoaches or trainers and at the same time, the coaches are put in aseparate ‘untouchable’ category because that is what definessuccess in high schools. In the long run, decorum and individualityare discouraged in the same schools leading to an immoral high schoolpopulation. In addition, the outsider is the most cherished andadmired not the academic achiever. He points out that, studentsrealize they have wasted so much time in unnecessary ventures injunior high when they transition to college.

Botstein’sarticle points out that, the reason why there is a difference in theachievement of adulthood today than in the past is becauseadolescents mature now faster than in the past. For instance,menstruation age has dropped by two years from 14 years to 12 and itkeeps on going down in the 20thto the 21stcentury. More reliability is pointed to the fact that, informationand images of the media are now accessible to children of ages 15 and16 when in the past they were restricted to only young adults of 18years and above. For this, he believes that, young people shouldgraduate at 16 rather than 18 so that they can transitionsuccessfully into adulthood while taking vocational training andserving their communities for their minds to mature faster. Inaddition, he sanctions that, the junior high school should beabolished, and children should begin school at ages 4 and five sothat they can transition perfectly into adult life when they are notin high school.

Byacknowledging the fearful tone of the article, one wonders what thepolicy makers should be thinking while going through the factspresented by the author. It is quite dangerous to point out thateducation in American high school has gone behind in terms of moralappreciation of social norms but then are the students to blame orpolicy makers. Are teachers taking part on this prerogative or is therecruitment of unprofessional teachers the principal concern of theauthor? The answer could be more confusing and surprising.

Baer,D. (2015). High School in America is creating a mental health crisisand these numbers prove it. BusinessInsider.Retrievedfrom: http://www.businessinsider.com/we-need-to- abolish-high-school-2015-4?IR=T

Moreemphasis in this article is placed on Sonit, Rebecca’s article on“Abolish high schools”. In this article, Baer reaffirms that,Sonit’s analysis on American school population is well placed andone that needs special attention from the policy makers and schooladministrators. He points out that, suicide as one of the mostdreaded aspects of teen life is growing in America especially in theschool years than during the summers. The author appreciates that,there is need to have a revamp of the education system just like inEurope where sports are conducted in clubs and not in schools. Theattachment of sports activities to schools is what is leading tohigher rates of suicide among teens all over America. The mostreported reason for suicide is bullying, peer influence concerningdrugs and other socially unacceptable behaviors. In the article, theauthor reassures the readers that, as long as the education system isnot changed so as sports and other activities are not appreciatedother than intellectualism, many teens will continue to take theirlives due to bullying, and popularity in sports.

Credibilityand reliability of the article are attained from the statisticspresented in the author`s work. In that, the National Institute ofMental Health reports to have noted, 11% adolescents to be having adepressive disorder by age of 18. Moreover, the AmericanPsychological Association points out that, 20 % of high schoolstudents think of suicide once every year and out of the 20 percent,8% make suicide attempts. Another study is about bullying whereby,out of the 1273 students tracked between the ages of age 11 and 16 in2013, and the kids that were chronically bullied turned out to bemuch poorer, with less education and were more isolated in societythan those who never experienced maltreatment. The reports affirmthat, during the summer, the rate of suicide attempts goes downtremendously because students get accustomed to free social livesthat have less victimization and are out of reach of other peerinfluenced behaviors like sports admiration. If bullying ischallenged and policy is made to change the system, where, educationis to be separated from games, then individuals will enter adulthoodwhen they are healthy mentally and prepared.

Theresults of this article seem to echo the thoughts presented byBotstein in his article where, focus is directed towards students,parents and the reformers of American education. The report assertsthat education cannot be a success in high schools if there issegregation of individuals based on their statuses which are attachedto masculinity and femininity. Academic success should be connectedto social status and not just sports success of adolescents. Bullyingshould be abolished at all costs for this challenge to be remedied.