Teach Knowledge, Not Mental Skills” Hirsh Essay

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Reading the article “Teach Knowledge, Not Mental Skills” by Hirsh, made me think deeper about problems in the American education system and what cause those problems. In his article, Hirsh is emphasizing on “core knowledge curriculum”. John Baer, in his article “The Impact of the Core Knowledge Curriculum on Creativity”, quotes Hirsh and explains that term as “detailed and specific outline of content in the fine arts, geography, history, language arts, mathematics, and science…” (Bayer,2003, p.297).   Hirsh claims that usage of the Core Knowledge curriculum across the U.S. will help raise the students’ achievements to a higher level and will make American students compatible with other countries’ students, where education is based on Core Knowledge Curriculum. In spite of the fact that Hirsh’s article has from some weak points, he makes me believe that core curriculum is the necessary program for American education system. Being a teacher in three different countries and using different approaches to education, I strongly support Hirsh’s point of view. We have seen that countries that are oriented on core knowledge curriculum such as Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and many others, get advantages in engineering and development of technologies. Today, it is no secret that the knowledge of math, language, and science of the average American student stays behind other countries. To improve the current situation, American educators should pay attention to Hirsh’s recommendations.
To support his argument, in his original article, Hirsh gives an example of students in the South Bronx, whose academic achievements were grown significantly after their school was adapted core knowledge curriculum. He explains that success by effective usage of teaching time

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when the same material offered to every student in the same grade. My own experience can support Hirsh’s argument. I got my primary education in Russia, were the core curriculum was spread across...

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