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The schools we need and why we don't have them
Hirsch, E. D. 1928-
Adult Nonfiction LA210.H57 1996

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Summary: The author ofCultural Literacyoffers a powerful, compelling, and unassailable argument for reforming America's schooling methods and ideas. From kindergarten through high school, the American education is the worst in the developed world, and the causes of its failure and any possible solutions to it are hotly disputed. For over fifty years, American schools have operated on the assumption that challenging children is bad for them, teachers do not need to know the subjects they teach, that the learning "process" should be emphasised over the facts taught within it. Yet, as renowned educator and author E. D. Hirsch shows inThe Schools We Need, this establishment ideology is a tragedy of good intentions gone awry. Hirsch argues that in eschewing content-based curricula for abstract--and disproved--theories of congnitive development, the educational establishment has done irreparable harm to America's students, and instead of preparing them for the country's highly competitive, information-based economy, the process-oriented curricula the establishment practices has severely curtailed their ability, and desire, to learn. Suggesting a curriculum based on hard work, knowledge aquisition, and rigorous testing that has been proven successful time after time,The Schools We Needoffers a proficient and workable solution. By providing evidence of numerous studies proving that fact-based education works, and a glossary of brief, authoritative explanations of educational phrases often used to dazzle teachers and the general public, Hirsch proves that if children are taught substantial knowledge and skills, and learn to work hard to acquire them, their test scores will rise, their love of learning will grow, and they will become enthusiastic participants in the information-age civilization. The Schools We Needis a passionate and thoughtful book that will appeal to the millions of people who can't understand why American schools just don't work.

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