Amazon.com Widgets The Good Place (Michael L. Umphrey on gardening, teaching, and writing)

"Peace is not an absence of war; it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice. - Benedict Spinoza."

Education and folkways
     Reform requires learning beyond the classroom

“A powerful superstition of modern life is that people are improved inevitably by education.”
Wendell Berry

A Forbes article provides evidence of how poorly educated many young people are after two or four years of college. According to a study by the American Research Institutes and funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, most college students near to getting their diplomas lack the skills to perform complex literary tasts.

A person could reasonably conclude from the study that most college graduates in America are not particularly literate. This isn’t hard to believe, since it explains so many contemporary phenomena--from the magazines that sell at supermarkets to the success of Hannity and Colmes--that it’s unlikely any serious person is going to challenge the findings. I doubt I’m alone in suspecting lots of students are not learning what schools claim they are teaching.

“A powerful superstition of modern life is that people are improved inevitably by education.”
Wendell Berry

Maybe the power of the superstition’s hold on the mind is inversely related to the time one has spent trying, through classroom teaching, to move young people to a view of education different than the one held by the community of their origin. So a teacher teaching students from a professional community to get ready for college might belief might believe in schooling more readily than an equally talented teacher trying to get kids whose parents lacked high school diplomas to the same point. And those who discourse professionally on teaching but don’t practice it--union leaders and other politicians--might seem as credulous as astrologers.

A Forbes article provides evidence of how poorly educated many young people are after two or four years of college. According to a study by the American Research Institutes and funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, most college students near to getting their diplomas lack the skills to perform complex literary tasts.

A person could reasonably conclude from the study that most college graduates in America are not particularly literate. This isn’t hard to believe, since it explains so many contemporary phenomena--from the magazines that sell at supermarkets to the success of Hannity and Colmes--that it’s unlikely any serious person is going to challenge the findings. I doubt I’m alone in suspecting lots of students are not learning what schools claim they are teaching. 

MORE...


Posted by Michael L Umphrey
(0) CommentsPermalinkPrinter-FriendlyE-mail this page
2007 Michael L. Umphrey

Page 1 of 1 pages