Mary Sherry “In Praise of the F Word”
What is Sherry’s thesis?
In her article Sherry argues that flunking students is a method that has been effective in the past, but also is as effective as it was in the past todays day, and we need to see it as a positive teaching tool, just like it is.
Do you agree with her thesis? Explain.
Sherry in her article discuses about flunking students, which for her is an effective method that has given results in the past and is still working today. I agree with her thesis on some points. It is a good method that helps students to get better because puts them under pressure and for some students it works perfectly. Students are not working to get an A or B, now they have two chooses, to succeed or fail. So, it makes them to work harder in order to pass the class. Students get more responsible if they know that there is a chance to flunk. As it happened with Sherry’s student, after he learned that she is going to flunk him, he become an excellent student. But this is not always the case. Sometimes happened that when students learn that the teacher is going to flunk them, if they do not change the way how they study or their behavior, they demoralized. Which means they lose the desire for learning or going to school. This happened because they cannot think as adults, they are not mature enough to value the importance of school. When teachers say to students that they are going to fail the class they do not think that teacher is doing that because he/she loves them, or because this is a method that will help them to be professional in the future. From my experience what students think in this case is that teacher do not like them, or he/she do that with purpose, and students are afraid to go to school or they think that they are going to fail anyway, there is no reason for going to school. Tree years ago, my brother was in high school. He was an average student, but very captious. During the class he was playing with his friends, or talking to them, and the teacher told him that she is going to fail him because his grades was not that good, and his behaver was bad. When he arrived home, he told my parents that he does not want to go to school anymore because the teacher is going to fail him. He said that the teacher does not like him, even in the test she puts lower grades than he deserves, he tries hard to study for that class, but the teacher does not want to see that etc. Some students after knowing that the teacher will flunk them, they try to find excuses by saying that is teachers fault, they do not feel comfortable with that and the best way is to leave the school. So, flunking is a strategy that will give positive results in some cases, but there are some other cases where the strategy that Sherry discuses on her article is not that effective as she says. Also, another point that I do not agree with Sherry’s thesis is because she do not consider all aspects.
She says that school has to be primary priority for students, but she does not consider students problems. Some students have problems at home because their parents are alcoholic or use drugs
and mistreating them, or others do not have a house when to sleep, they could not put the school in the first priority because they have other vital issues that are more important to them than school.