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Posted April 7, 2010
There are many books offering assorted theories about what ails public education today. However, Dr. Kauffman's work is special: insightful, based on evidence (not ideology), and even funny at times. As an interested parent who has plowed through a goodly number of books and articles on a variety of topics, I found his discussion informative without being tedious or jargon-laden. He explores many issues of theory and practice, handling both what to teach and how to teach it. Another plus is that he covers both regular and special education, which is rare. He points out the areas in which ideology and fuzzy thinking are preventing our schools from doing all they can for all types of students.
One should not be fooled by the length of the book. Both professional and lay audiences can find a comprehensive exploration of basic issues in this one well-drafted treatise. One clue for how much I am learning from or enjoying a book is the extent to which I annotate it. My copy of Tragicomedy is full of underlining, asterisks, arrows, exclamation points, and comments. If someone only has the time to read one book on education, I highly recommend this one. Not only does any reader stand to learn a lot about education, he or she will also be entertained in the process. There is a lot to laugh about in how our schools are run. But, as Dr. Kauffman notes, seeing the (tragi)comedy is the first step to constructive change.
Posted April 16, 2010
No text was provided for this review.