Academic journal article et Cetera

The Schools We Need: And Why We Don't Have Them

Academic journal article et Cetera

The Schools We Need: And Why We Don't Have Them

Article excerpt

E.D. Hirsch, Jr., The Schools We Need: And Why We Don't Have Them. New York: Doubleday, 1996.

American K-12 education is among the least effective in the developed world. E.D. Hirsch, Jr., a professor at the University of Virginia who previously authored the best seller Cultural Literacy, says this is because for over fifty years our schools have operated on the assumption that challenging children academically is unnatural for them, that teachers do not need to know the subjects they teach, and that the learning process should be emphasized over the facts taught. He develops his argument in great historical detail, pointing out that America was born in the Enlightenment but bred in Romanticism. From the Romantic idea that civilization has a corrupting influence, Hirsch argues, we have developed an anti-fact, anti-rote learning, and anti-verbal bias.

The author believes that good schooling is "unnatural" and requires hard work by the students. He also advocates core curricula which emphasize factual knowledge, focused early childhood education, and commonality of content to help overcome the decline in our national communitarian spirit. …

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