Review: The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them

638 Words3 Pages
The School We Need, Chapter Five E.D. Hirsch in chapter five of his book The Schools We Need & Why We Don't Have Them (1996) asserts that the goal of educators is to give their students a high level of general competence, and develop individual's who can think critically about a diverse subjects, who can communicate well, can solve a diversity of problems, and are ready to tackle unfamiliar challenges (p. 143). The author maintains that although modern day educators are in agreement that these are worthy aspirations, many of today's schools lack the capacity to attain these outcomes and are hindered in their quest for finding and developing best practices by research that is invoked selectively by the educational community in order to preserve the status quo. The author alleges that a lot of research in education is merely material for ideological warfare and some research based practices, such as an emphasis on metacognition may actually be harmful to certain elements of the student population. Hirsch notes that there is a strong correlation between reading ability and listening ability. Research conducted by Thomas Sticht found that reading ability in non-deaf children cannot exceed their ability to listen. Therefore, strong speaking and listening skills are essential to the development of strong reading skills. "Sticht's Law," as Hirsch calls it, holds that for non-deaf persons, the comprehension of written language cannot exceed the comprehension of oral language,
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