28 mars 2012

"Teach the child, not the subject" (Critical Guide, E.D. Hirsch Jr)

A phrase connoting the principle behind "child-centered schooling". The benign and reasonable interpretation of this famous battle cry of progressivism is that one should attend to the moral, emotional, and spiritual well-being of the child at the same time that one is providing an excellent grounding in reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

Only a hard-hearted person would dissent from this goal. Historically, however, the progressive tradition has continued to attack the disciplined teaching of reading, writing, and arithmetic in favor of "holistic" methods, which supposedly engage and educate the whole child. Progressivists have also continued to disparage merely academic learning. Not surprisingly, disparagement of "the subject" has resulted in a diminishment of student competency in subject matters.

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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