- Paperback: 190 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (April 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0618872256
- ISBN-13: 978-0618872251
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.5 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #607,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Knowledge Deficit: Closing the Shocking Education Gap for American Children Reprint Edition
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"If we did what E.D. Hirsch said, and made sure that all students, regardless of race, income, or neighborhood, were exposed to a rich, challenging, sequenced curriculum in important subjects, schools could make a much bigger difference than they already do." --Ed McElroy, president, American Federation of Teachers
"[Hirsch] wants to reverse the current emphasis on reading as a mechanical process and replace it with content-rich curriculum that will turn all children into knowledgeable readers. It's a worthy goal for our schools in an increasingly competitive globalized world." New York Post
"On many fronts, Hirsch's book challenges the conventional educational wisdown. Parents ought to check it out." --Rocky Mountain News
"[A] powerful argument . . . [Hirsch's] well-reasoned, common-sense proposals address a vital issue, and his book provides a valuable addition to the debate on public policy in education." --Richmond Times-Dispatch
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Mechanical reading skills and reading strategies, while necessary at times, do not advance the ball when it comes developing a deep understanding of complex content. We need to think seriously about what the common cannon of understanding should be in each grade so students aren't reading random unrelated content that leaves many out in the cold.
The metaphor I liked compared choosing a systematic series of K-12 reading topics to deciding whether to drive on the right, or left side, of the road. Either traffic system works, but each country has to choose one or the other so its citizens know how to drive with each other on busy streets. Likewise we have to decide which grade to teach the Mayflower. It doesn't matter if it's 1st grade, 2nd grade or 8th grade it can be taught well at every grade. But it shouldn't be taught by one teacher in 1st the next in 2nd and so forth boring the students who have read about it before and displacing content that they haven't encountered. The lack of a system hurts mobile students from low SES backgrounds the most, Hirsch says, leaving them so they can't understand what their fellow citizens are writing or saying.
The first chapter was great! It really grabbed my attention and I thought "Wow, for an educational book, this one is going to be pretty amazing!". That was short lived unfortunately. The beginning of each subsequent chapter grabbed me but after the first paragraph, the information became repetitive. Towards the end, the last few chapters were repetitive on the previous ones.
There were others in my class who thought this book was fantastic. I just didn't feel it like they did. I *wanted* to like this book but I don't do repetition well (except for in writing this review about how repetitious this book is!)
I'm disappointed that I still have a knowledge gap when it comes to closing education gaps in American Children. I believe my professor might as well.