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The Paideia Proposal: An Educational Manifesto Paperback – September 1, 1982

ISBN-13: 978-0020641001 ISBN-10: 0020641001 Edition: 1st Macmillan paperbacks ed

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Macmillan paperbacks ed edition (September 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0020641001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0020641001
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Mortimer J. Adler was Chairman of the Board of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Director of the Institute for Philosophical Research, Honorary Trustee of the Aspen Institute, and authored more than fifty books. He died in 2001. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on October 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the American philosopher Mortimer Adler's attempt to apply his philosophy to real-world problems. His biggest concern was the inability of the educational system to teach children to think (as opposed to memorizing a string of mind-numbing facts). To accomplish this goal he, along with education professionals, developed a program based on the Socratic method of teaching.
For example, one exercise might consist of the following instructions from the teacher:
"Today I am going to show an object to you and I want you to just look at it for one minute in absolute silence, At the end of that time, please write what you saw first and what question you have about the object. Remember, no talking, because once someone talks it disrupts and alters the others' thinking."
This is a book with ideas that will challenge the way you have always thought about education. Indeed, it will make you question what our educational system is doing. If the purpose of an education is the creation of a well-rounded individual who questions and reasons and analyzes, then one will have to conclude that it has been an abject failure. Indeed, our society is increasingly split along two lines - a well-educated, erudite group that has developed a mocking attitude toward traditional conventions and manners and a non-educated group that carries a growing anti-intellectual bias.
For further information about the Paidea Proposal, you can visit the Radical Academy Site. As a father who has seen his son prosper under such a program, I would recommend that any parent seriously interested in obtaining a true education for their child explore the possibilites presented in this book.
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47 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Currie-Knight TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 8, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mortimer Adler's "Paideia Proposal," ("paideia" means "education" in Greek) is a book which intends to offer a stern antidote to many "progressive" ideas in education. One might call Adler an educational conservative - an "essentialist" who believes that education is of value in itself (and should not be justified by its utilitarian value). Adler also believes in the value of a liberal arts education for all, the role of order and discipline in education, and the value of cultivating the intellect as the primary goal of k-12 education.

Adler's Paideia proposal "breaks" education into three types which students should receive in equal measure:

(a) knowledge acquisition: this is where direct teacher/student instruction goes on, and where the student learns to store and recall facts.

(b) developing of intellectual skill: this is where the student "learns by doing," and practices the skill under the teacher's facilitation.

(c) increase in understanding and insight: this is where students learn to evaluate, analyze, synthesize, and create ideas from ideas. Students engage in teacher-led discussion and reflections while learning "higher order thinking" skills.

I agree with these goals, but disagree much with Adler's approach. A key criticism I have of Adler's writing is that, like many philosophers of education, he speaks of students as they exist in theory rather than in practice, and tends to see them as a big monolithic group (while he says he doesn't).

Put differently and bluntly, if I had a child, I might be tempted to send it to a Paidiea school, but would be hesitant to suggest that every child should be forced into this model.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Levasseur on May 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
When Mortimer Adler wrote this book, he was Chairman of the Board of Editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica. His purpose was to encourage a transformation in public education.

As a lifelong learner and a teacher, what I found most valuable in Adler's book is his concept of the three elements of learning: (a) the acquisition of knowledge, (b) the ability to apply it, and (c) the capacity to use it to deepen understanding.

In simple, straightforward language, Alder describes (a) why we need to teach all of the students in the first twelve years of schooling to do all three (i.e., acquire, apply, and deepen), not just the first and second as is most often the case, and (b) how to do it.

This simple but profound book helped me to become a better teacher and lifelong learner. It can do the same for you.

Robert E. Levasseur, Ph.D., president of MindFire Press ([...]
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have no clue as to whether the author of this book is alive or not in 2005 but this book is from the 80's but he comments in it that all kids need to get a good education in order to make it in life. It may sound simple but he talks about kids being placed in vocational programs which he believes only limits their growth and their salaries once they grow up. The idea behind this literature is that all kids are suited for a four year curriculum, learning topics such as philosophy and biology for example and not just being thrown into vocational programs just because of the way one may look, or from the social economic circle one may hail from. Recommended literature to all parents, home school parents, private and public school educators. It is a fast read, because i checked out this book from my public library but the information is really rare to find now a days. Get it!!!
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