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Ed School Follies: The Miseducation of America's Teachers Hardcover – September, 1991


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Free Pr; First Edition edition (September 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029176425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029176429
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #537,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After a year of crisscrossing the country and observing the institutions that are producing the next generation's teachers, Kramer ( Maria Montessori ) concludes: "Our schools of education are appalling." This indictment, hardly surprising to anyone who has experienced the gap between teacher certification requirements and the reality of the school room, is supported by the author's log of her visits to classrooms in private and public colleges and universities, among them State University of New York's Teachers College, Peabody College in Tennessee and Michigan State University. Often, knowledge as a value in itself and the mastery of subject matter as teacher goals are downplayed in favor of a leveling, therapeutic approach to one's students. A politicized and homogenized agenda is followed by prospective teachers, whose own educational backgrounds may be sparse. Kramer's tough-minded, much-needed critique is accompanied by constructive suggestions that offer grounds for optimism.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In seeking reasons for the dismal state of contemporary education in the United States, Kramer ( At a Tender Age , LJ 5/15/88) focuses on teacher training. During the 1988-89 school year, she visited 14 schools of education in New York, Tennessee, Michigan, Southern California, Washington, and Texas, observing classes and interviewing students and professors. In this account, she concludes that most students are idealistic and eager, but are being misguided. She found students woefully ignorant of subject matter, while sometimes lacking in communication skills. Kramer maintains that new students are forced to abandon the instruction of information and knowledge in favor of theories in developing pupil self-esteem, indiscriminate passing, and reforming society. This will certainly be a controversial book. It presents a critical viewpoint and should be required reading for all school administrators, professors of education, prospective teachers, and concerned parents.
- Shirley L. Hopkinson, California State Univ., San Jose
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Born and grew up in the Midwest, BA from the College of the University of Chicago. Edited for several publishing firms before entering on a career in journalism (published in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Commentary, The Public Interest and many other magazines and journals in the U.S. and abroad.) Books include Maria Montessori: A Biography; Ed School Follies: The Miseducation of America's Teachers; Flames in the Field: The Story of Four SOE Agents in Occupied France; and a novel, When Morning Comes.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Edelman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 31, 1998
Format: Hardcover
When I was teaching at a major university I was shocked at how ill-prepared the incoming students were. After meeting faculty and graduates of our school of education, I was equally shocked- but I began to understand.
Kramer shows through example how the inmates have taken over the asylum in too many of today's schools of education. Run by people with little academic depth, and having degrees from other diploma-mill Ed schools, today's typical school of education is a sociological program run amuck. Priority is given to vacuuous notions of instilling self-worth while teaching content is thought to be of secondary importance- if it's given any thought at all.
The education industry today is more of a closed shop than the auto industry. You can't teach in public schools without an Ed degree, but no spoecialized knowledge is needed at all. Gym teachers can teach physics, but PhDs cannot. Read this book.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Dickerson on August 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Welcome to the place where torturers are trained and weeded out!This book is first step in finding an answer to the pathetic state of today's educational system. What are teachers taught? What is the criteria for determining a good teacher from a bad teacher? Or do they even try? Who decides this, and how? Ms. Kramer gives you the raw data to answer these questions yourself. The reader sits in on Teacher Ed classrooms with Ms. Kramer from the east coast to the west coast. You stop at the elite and exclusive schools, such as Columbia University's Teacher's School and Vanderbilt University's Peabody College, as well as the schools that simply churn out teachers in mass, such as Eastern Michigan University. The book gives readers a general survey of what happens in Ed Schools in the U.S. It is an initial look at the crime scene. Many other questions will arise pertaining to the causes of the observed corruptions, but these would be material for other books. Although Ms. Kramer does let her disapproval be known throughout the book, so did she when she chose a title. She would be an accessory to the crime if she didn't voice her disapproval. Thus, contrary to some other reviewer's opinions, I applaud Ms. Kramer for letting her evaluation of the facts be known -- its high time!On a personal note: As one who has been through a Teacher Ed program, this reviewer does not believe that the events have been exagerated in any way. My school was NOT one of those surveyed, but reading this was like a deja vu experience for me. This actually happens!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killion on February 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Other books tell about the bizarre premises, concepts and methods in schools today. But where on earth do these ideas come from? And why do administrators and teachers believe this stuff? The short answer is: ed schools. Rather than being a model of scholarship, today's ed schools waste away time with endless prattle about theories and philosophies. Rita Kramer toured the country, spending a good deal of time at each of a number of ed schools. She visited prestigious eastern schools, mainstream schools, and everything in between. Kramer reports on everything she saw: vapid looks of the students, meaningless classroom activities, faculty members who loathe the very same goals that most people expect from schools, and grades, assessments and final degress devoid of any substantive value. This book tells a vital part of the story in understanding what's wrong with our schools. I can't think of a better book recommendation for a young person considering ed school, a student in ed school, or a teacher who is trying to figure out why the time spent in ed school has so little to do with his or her classroom success. It's not really out-of-print, so if you can't get it at Amazon, try a print-on-demand service.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "edu20" on February 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed reading Rita Kramer's first-hand account of what our future teachers are learning. Although she is not dispassionate, she is absolutely well-informed about the travesty that passes for "education" in the "ed schools." Future teachers are indoctrinated, not educated, and that is the major reason for most of our problems in education today. If you care about improving schools, and if you are worried about your own child's education, READ THIS BOOK!
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