Archive for November 11th, 2005

11th November

First Published in The New York Sun, November 11, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

E.D. Hirsch Jr., the writer and academic whose ideas about teaching and learning are much respected among scholars, was in town recently to give a talk at the annual meeting of the Reading Reform Foundation of New York. It is too bad that Mayor Bloomberg wasn’t there, because what Mr. Hirsch has to say about education closely mirrors the mayor’s ideas, as expressed when he first ran for office four years ago.

Instead of the traditional approach, which Mr. Bloomberg repeatedly said he favored, what is practiced in most city classrooms is a far-left pedagogy based not on traditional academic achievement, but on protecting children’s self-esteem. In this topsy-turvy world, each student comes to school with a pre-determined supply of self-esteem. Teachers are to tread carefully lest this reserve dwindle by demanding too much of a child academically.The idea that self-esteem is a commodity continuously earned by individual achievement is rejected. (more…)