From the bestselling author of Cultural Literacy, a passionate and cogent argument for reforming the way we teach our children
Why, after decades of commissions, reforms, and efforts at innovation, do our schools continue to disappoint us? In this comprehensive and thought-provoking book, educational theorist E. D. Hirsch, Jr. offers a masterful analysis of how American ideas about education have veered off course, what we must do to right them, and most importantly why. He argues that the core problem with American education is that educational theorists, especially in the early grades, have for the past sixty years rejected academic content in favor of “child-centered” and “how-to” learning theories that are at odds with how children really learn. The result is failing schools and widening inequality, as only children from content-rich (usually better-off) homes can take advantage of the schools’ educational methods.
Hirsch unabashedly confronts the education establishment, arguing that a content-based curriculum is essential to addressing social and economic inequality. A nationwide, specific, grade-by-grade curriculum established in the early school grades can help fulfill one of America’s oldest and most compelling dreams: to give all children, regardless of language, religion, or origins, the opportunity to participate as equals and become competent citizens. Hirsch not only reminds us of these inspiring ideals, he offers an ambitious and specific plan for achieving them.
E. D. Hirsch, Jr., founder of the Core Knowledge Foundation, recently retired as professor of education and humanities at the University of Virginia. His previous books include Cultural Literacy and The Knowledge Deficit.
Table of Contents
1 The Inspiring Idea of the Common School 1
2 Sixty Years without a Curriculum 34
3 Transethnic America and the Civic Core 65
4 Linguistic America and the Public Sphere 94
5 Competence and Equality Narrowing the Two Achievement Gaps 123
6 Competence and Community Renewing Public Education 152
Born in 1915 to barely literate Jewish immigrants in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Alfred
Kazin rose from near poverty to become a dominant figure in twentieth-century literary criticism and one of America’s last great men of letters. Biographer Richard ...
Winner of the 2007 National Outdoor Book Award (NOBA) for Nature GuidebooksThe two companion volumes
of this extensive and detailed guide make a groundbreaking contribution to bird guide literature: they not only provide detailed accounts of every known bird species ...
The author of Heat “captured words from the heart” in this collection of stories and
firsthand accounts of life in the FDNY from fifteen of New York’s Bravest (Library Journal). In New York City, an average of eleven fires are ...
In this passionate and searching book, Anthony Kronman offers a third way—beyond atheism and religion—to
the God of the modern world “An astonishing, . . . epically ambitious book. . . . An intellectual adventure story based on the notion ...
America is the first world power to inhabit an immense land mass open at both
ends to the world’s two largest oceans—the Atlantic and the Pacific. This gives America a great competitive advantage often overlooked by Atlanticists, whose focus remains ...
When a massive wildfire surrounded Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, five monks risked their lives to
save it. A gripping narrative as well as a portrait of the Zen path and the ways of wildfire, Fire Monks reveals what it means ...
America's first responders answer the call nearly two million times each year as the nation's
first line of defense in any emergency. Firefighters captures the spirit of the firefighting community in a riveting collection of 500 contemporary and vintage photographs. ...
The committee that prepared this report was charged with assessing the state of fire safety
research and describing the potential role of the NSF in improving fire safety in the United States. This report highlights markers along a pathway to ...