27 mars 2012

"Facts are inferior to understanding." (Critical Guide, E.D. Hirsch Jr)

"Facts are inferior to understanding." The opposition expressed in this and similar phrases between facts and understanding is a hallmark of progressivism. It is true that facts in isolation are less valuable than facts whose interrelations have been understood. But those interrelations are also facts (if they happen to be true), and their existence also depends entirely upon a knowledge of the subordinate facts that are being interrelated. 

Since understanding depends on facts, it is simply contradictory to praise understanding and to disparage facts.

Antipathy to subject-matter content  

"banking theory of schooling" 
"culturally-biased curriculum" 
"outcomes-based education" 
"research has shown"

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This was an excerpt from Hirsch's great book on education :
The Schools We Need 
 and Why We Don't Have Them.
Recension by Richard Askey :  

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