ERIC Number: ED498008
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Reference Count: 10
Beyond the Basics: Achieving a Liberal Education for All Children
Finn, Chester E., Jr, Ed.; Ravitch, Diane, Ed.
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Citing Aristotle, Franklin and Einstein as proponents of a broad, liberal-arts education, Finn and Ravitch promote the need for liberal learning as preparatory to the civic life needed for a well-functioning democracy. Drawing together the work of a number of educators, the editors have organized this volume in two sections. Part I, Liberal Learning: Its Value and Future, includes three papers that advocate both for liberal learning, and for a common curriculum. Part II, Restoring Liberal Art to the K-12 Curriculum, features eleven explorations of how to expand liberal learning by improving accountability systems, teacher training and education delivery. Maintaining that their support of liberal learning is well-documented, the editors conclude the volume by noting four opposing trends: (1) Gradual extinction of liberal learning in higher education; (2) Standards-and-Accountability movement focused on basics skills; (3) Support for math and science and the expense of the rest of the curriculum; and (4) Widening achievement gaps. Finn and Ravitch envision a future in which liberal education is so restricted as to create a less informed and less engaged populace, to the detriment of a democratic society, Recommendations to reverse this trend are appended under four headings: (1) Standards, Assessments, and Curriculum; (2) Teacher Education, Professional Development and Compensation; (3) Choice and Innovation; and (4) Public Engagement. This book begins with an Introduction: "Why Liberal Learning," by Chester E. Finn, Jr., and Diane Ravitch. It then divides into two parts and fourteen chapters. Part I: Liberal Learning: Its Value and Future, contains: (1) Pleasure, Beauty, and Wonder: The Role of the Arts in Liberal Education (Dana Gioia); (2) What Do They Know of Reading Who Only Reading Know?: Bringing Liberal Arts into the Wasteland of the "Literacy Block" (E.D. Hirsch, Jr.); and (3) W(h)ither Liberal Education?: A Modest Defense of Humanistic Schooling in theTwenty-first Century (David J. Ferrero). Part II: Restoring Liberal Arts to the K-12 Curriculum, contains: (4) Testing, Learning, and Teaching: The Effects of Test-based Accountability on Student Achievement and Instructional Time in Core Academic Subjects (Martin West); (5) Is A Default Curriculum in High School A Good Strategy For Promoting the Humanities? (Matthew Gandal, Michael Cohen, and John Kraman); (6) Time in School: Opportunity to Learn (Kate Walsh); (7) The Case for Broadening Veteran Teachers' Education in the Liberal Arts and What We Could Do About It (Sandra Stotsky); (8) Do We Need Strong Liberal Arts Curricular Materials?(Joan Baratz-Snowden); (9) Preparing Teachers to Teach the Liberal Arts (David Steiner); (10) Expanding Access to Liberal Education in Public Schools: The Promise and Perils of Charter Schools and In-District Choice (David J. Ferrero); (11) Virtual Education and the Liberal Arts (John Holdren and Bror Saxberg); (12) Instructional Time and Curricular Emphases: U.S. State Policies in Comparative Perspective (Aaron Benavot); (13) Comfortable With Big Ideas (John Backus); and (14) Excellence for Its Own Sake (Matthew Bogdanos). (Contains 18 tables and 3 figures.)
Descriptors: General Education, Elementary Secondary Education, Democracy, Accountability, Liberal Arts, Access to Education, Citizenship Education, National Curriculum, Teacher Education, Teaching Methods, Higher Education, Academic Standards, Basic Skills, Mathematics Instruction, Science Instruction, Academic Achievement, Democratic Values, Faculty Development, Teacher Salaries, School Choice, Educational Innovation, Citizen Participation, Art Education, Reading Instruction, Humanism, Student Evaluation, Core Curriculum, Humanities, Time Factors (Learning), Teaching Experience, Curriculum Development, Public Schools, Charter Schools, Virtual Classrooms, Web Based Instruction, Public Policy, Excellence in Education
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation & Institute. 1701 K Street NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-223-5452; Fax: 202-223-9226; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.edexcellence.net/foundation/publication/index.cfm
Publication Type: Collected Works - General; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Washington, DC.