Hirsch Summary

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HW6: Hirsch summary In the reading “Creating a Curriculum for the American People” by E.D Hirsch, Jr. emphases on his belief that America’s biggest educational problems can be separated in to three categories. First is our low academic achievement relative to other nations; second is our lack of equality of educational opportunity; third our failure to perpetuate a strong sense of loyalty to the national community and its civic institutions. In the excerpt, he lays out his case that a shared base of common knowledge is essential not just reading and comprehension but the functioning of democracy itself. Hirsch describes how the anti-curriculum movement, the dominant school of thought in education became “tragically and unintentionally” an anti-equality movement. A lack of knowledge, both civic and wide-ranging, is the most significant deficit in most American students’ education. For the most part our students and teachers are bright, committed, well-meaning and good-natured. Many students and teachers are working harder in school that their counterparts did a decade ago. Yet most students still lack basic information that high school and college teachers once took for granted. This lack of knowledge is even more important than most people realize. A content-rich core curriculum is the only viable remedy. I, too, believe there is a degree of irony within Hirsch’s claims. He believes the progressive movement is responsible for movement away from academics. In turn, it has caused a lowering of standards, which has had its greatest impact on minority students. Whether one adheres to Hirsch’s views or not, he drives at one of our nation’s greatest concerns: the inequity of achievement in education. We should move to embrace educators who make education relevant to students, while also maintaining high standards for them. He makes some valid points
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