From the Inside Flap
Education reform is pointless if it does not influence what students can learn, what they want to learn, and most important, what they care about. This is a lesson that John Dewey tried to teach us, but one we have either forgotten or willfully neglected.In Back to Basics, Francis Schrag builds on Dewey's fundamental principles and offers a probing and thoughtful exploration of the most basic questions in education today: What is the purpose of schooling and what should our educational aspirations be? What should be taught and how? Who is accountable and what are they accountable for? And how should educators respond to difficult societal issues, such as inequality of resources, or the conflicting demands of school reform?In grappling with each of these questions, Schrag examines our most basic beliefs about education and forces us to think in greater depth about what schools can and should do.
From the Back Cover
"In stunningly clear and vivid language, Francisc Schrag answers core questions about schooling in American in a way that any college student, parent, public official, or reformer would find useful. His answers to questions such as: Why have public schools? What should children know? have schools changed? are fair without sacrificing his point of view. His analogies and metaphors give a provocative sparkle to the book. This is an unusually thoughtful and concise examination of fundamental issues facing American schools that will get readers to think long after they finish the last page."--Larry Cuban, professor of education, Stanford University