ERIC Number: ED307174
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Jul-23
Reference Count: N/A
I Get Deja Vu When I Read You, Mr. Hirsch.
Hepburn, Mary A.
In each era of curriculum reform the prevailing perceptions of what the school curriculum must accomplish define the standard of cultural literacy for our society. E. D. Hirsch believes that contemporary youth lack cultural literacy and that without this knowledge of the fundamental facts of U.S. culture they cannot effectively read or communicate, be informed citizens, or do their jobs well. Hirsch calls for a curriculum based on a list of approximately 5,000 bits of information commonly understood by all literate citizens. However, his list of facts for the 1980s is based only on the judgement of a few professors and is biased towards western academic culture. Carleton Washburne had already developed a similar idea in the 1920s. By arduously examining the literature of 1905-1922, a group of educators developed a list of over 61,000 facts upon which a balanced education that included reflective thinking and application could be based. While Hirsch's list is static and unlikely to provide education for the future, Washburne's proposal reveals a greater sensitivity to a changing or dynamic cultural composition by including methods for updating data. (PPB)
Descriptors: Back to Basics, Basic Skills, Core Curriculum, Curriculum Design, Curriculum Evaluation, Educational Objectives, Elementary Secondary Education, Learning Processes, Mass Media Effects, Social Studies
Mary A. Hepburn, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, Terrell Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A