ERIC Number: ED364347
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
The Noneducation of America's Children.
Wilentz, Elias S.
Despite evidence of ineffectiveness, the American educational system remains tied to the child-centered, Piagetian approach to educating children. Based on the romantic notions of Rousseau, this approach maintains that children should not be viewed as receptacles of information that is dispensed by teachers but as active discoverers in a learning environment. As a consequence, two key elements of the modern classical pedagogical approach, didactic teaching or explaining and the systematic study of academic subjects, have been discarded, with the result that American children rank among the lowest academically of industrialized nations. To explain the disastrous results of the romantic approach, proponents have offered a multitude of excuses from too much television, a school year that is too short, pushy parents, centralized school board systems, and the argument that poor results stem from inadequate testing methods, not learning deficiencies. Historically, however, the romantic notions of holistic theme teaching as opposed to academic disciplines and the role of the teacher as facilitator have never been successful, having been attempted and abandoned by the Russians in the 1930s and, more recently, by the British. A return to the modern classical approach could make the education of American children the envy of nations instead of the noneducation that it is today. (BCY)
Descriptors: Achievement Rating, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Problems, Educational History, Educational Improvement, Educational Needs, Educational Philosophy, Educational Practices, Educational Theories, Elementary School Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Instructional Effectiveness, Outcomes of Education, Piagetian Theory, Role of Education, Secondary School Students, Student Centered Curriculum
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dewey (John); Education Reform Act 1988 (England); Rousseau (Jean Jacques); Soviet Education; Vygotsky (Lev S)