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Although Charter Schools are helping a small percentage of students, reformers, politicians and educators all believe that the entire public school system needs to change.
The books I have identified, with the help of members of the Institute of Ideas’ Education Forum, teachers and colleagues at several universities, constitute an attempt at an education “canon”.
What are “out” of my list are textbooks and guides to classroom practice. But there are some great literary works that should be read by every teacher: Charles Dicken’s Hard Times – for Gradgrind’s now much-needed celebration of facts; D. Lawrence’s The Rainbow – for Ursula Brangwen’s struggle against her early child-centred idealism in the reality of St Philips School; and Alan Bennett’s The History Boys – for Hector’s role as the subversive teacher committed to knowledge.
If you disagree with this, or any other of my choices, please add your alternative “canonical” books on education.
Apple – Official Knowledge: Democratic Education in a Conservative Age (1993) Hannah Arendt – Between Past and Future (1961), for the essay “The Crisis in Education” (1958) Matthew Arnold – Culture and Anarchy (1867-9) Robin Barrow – Giving Teaching Back to the Teachers (1984) Tom Bentley – Learning Beyond The Classroom: Education for a Changing World (1998) Allan Bloom – The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students (1987) Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron – Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture (1977) Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis – Schooling in Capitalist America: Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life (1976) Jerome Bruner – The Process of Education (1960) John Dewey – Democracy and Education (1916) Margaret Donaldson – Children’s Minds (1978) JWB Douglas – The Home and the School (1964) Kathryn Ecclestone and Dennis Hayes – The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education (2008) Harold Entwistle – Antonio Gramsci: Conservative Schooling for Radical Politics (1979). ) Neil Postman – The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School (1995) Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner – Teaching as a Subversive Activity (1969) Herbert Read – Education Through Art(1943) Carl Rogers – Freedom to Learn: A View of What Education Might Become (1969) Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Émile or “on education” (1762) Bertrand Russell – On Education(1926) Israel Scheffler – The Language of Education (1960) Brian Simon – Does Education Matter?
Additionally, 57% of Daisy’s potential high school classmates will not graduate. Robert Balfanz at John Hopkins University calls schools like Roosevelt ‘drop out factories.’ There is a pattern of failing elementary and middle schools pushing unqualified kids through the school system.
By the time these kids get to high school they are multiple grade levels behind and end up dropping out.
Willis – Learning to Labour: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs (1977) Alison Wolf – Does Education Matter?
The Conversation is funded by the National Research Foundation, eight universities, including the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University and the Universities of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Pretoria, and South Africa.
When Daisy graduates to Roosevelt High School, there are 15 required courses that the students need to pass in order to be accepted to a four-year public university in California.
Only 3 out of 100 students will pass all 15 courses.