Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Knowledge Deficit

Closing the Shocking Education Gap for American Children

E. D. Hirsch, Jr., author of the best-selling Cultural Literacy and founder of the Core Knowledge Foundation, takes a steely look at the failure of the American education system to teach a generation of children to read at a proficient level. His culprits are not the beleaguered teachers or the underfunded schools, but the educational philosophy that separates reading comprehension from content. He insists that in order to read with understanding, one must have a basic understanding of the body of knowledge upon which our society is based.

That just about covers it; it's a small book, and Hirsch eruditely restates his position from different podia in each chapter, each time taking another incremental step towards his final position: that the Core Knowledge Foundation has figured out what the knowledge is that children need to know at each stage, and that information is available to schools, teachers, even parents.

I can't disagree with his position, and I won't delve into the minutiae. If you're serious about literacy for children whose lives you influence, you may find this interesting.


Post a Comment

<< Home