Mike Rose's Why School: Transformative Power of Education:

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 714 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Words: 714|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Mike Rose's Experience of Collaboration
  3. Importance of Personal Growth 
  4. Conclusion
  5. Works Cited


School, while often taken for granted by the privileged, can be a gateway to the greener grass for those who have had a hard life. Mike Rose in his excerpt from “Why School? A Student in a Community College Basic Skills Program” (2009), recounts a moment at a community college with Anthony, a man with brain damage and a former prisoner. He then shows through this moment how people can lose sight of what they are doing, working with people can be humbling, and the purpose of education and how it can better people’s lives. Education is transformative for those being educated, especially those who have had a hard life because it allows people to get better work and to become a more enlightened person.

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Mike Rose's Experience of Collaboration

The excerpt starts with Rose describing the vacant lot and the library he was in with Anthony. He then helps Anthony read a poster on drugs so that Anthony can share it with his daughter. They leave the library, and Anthony runs into his former parole officer. After Anthony converses with his former parole officer, he tells Rose about how he enjoys college. At this point, the excerpt shifts from recounting this experience into what lessons he thinks can be learned from it. His takeaway is that working with people is humbling and that everyday life can divert attention from the goal of what is being done. In the last paragraph, he uses the experience to reveal the purpose of education which he concludes is to better oneself.

The excerpt tells how working with people can be humbling and everyday life can divert attention from the goal of what is being done. I learned this when he volunteered at a camp for special needs people. Even though my life has had its ups and downs like everyone, my life is pretty good in the scheme of things. A little bit before I was supposed to work in the camp, my life was in one of the down moments, so my mind was occupied with my troubles instead of how I was going to help the campers. Then, the campers started to show up, and then my priorities started to shift. At that moment, the sorrowful thoughts were replaced with thoughts on why I came there in the first place, to make these people happy and to give their caretakers a time to relax. With this on his mind, I accepted that even though in life there is good times and bad times, that my problems were not the worst thing ever. Through helping people, I was humbled and was became focused on why I was doing what I was doing, like Mike Rose with his experience with Anthony.

Importance of Personal Growth 

Rose says how education can improve one's life by being able to raise their children, improve their work, and become more informed. The life of my father, Dr. Paul Westmoreland, proves this point to be true. He grew up in a family in which none were college-educated. Wanting to be better, he studied hard and eventually got accepted to college and later, medical school. He met his future wife and my mother, Veronica Westmoreland, and became a well-paid family doctor. They had me and my little sister and have raised us well with what they have learned in their lives and college. My father has made a good life for himself and for the ones he loves. By being educated, he was able to get a good job, improve his life, and build a comfortable environment for his family.

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By telling the reader the story of Anthony, Rose was able to highlight how working to help people can be humbling, life’s struggles can make people lose sight, and the importance of education to the less fortunate. Though education, my father has improved his standing and by helping at the camp, I have become humbled and gained focus on what I was doing there. Hopefully, like my father and Anthony, people can realize the importance of education and improve themselves, and like me and Mike Rose, they can also be humbled by helping others.  

Works Cited

  1. Rose, Mike. 'Why School? A Student in a Community College Basic Skills Program.' Why School?: Reclaiming Education for All of Us, The New Press, 2009.
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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Mike Rose’s Why School: Transformative Power of Education:. (2023, August 04). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from
“Mike Rose’s Why School: Transformative Power of Education:.” GradesFixer, 04 Aug. 2023,
Mike Rose’s Why School: Transformative Power of Education:. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Feb. 2024].
Mike Rose’s Why School: Transformative Power of Education: [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 04 [cited 2024 Feb 25]. Available from:
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