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NOTES ON THE DOWNGRADING OF KNOWLEDGE



REF: EDUCATION DIGEST, JAN 1985, P2



Students examined scored 50% lower in overall knowledge than their counterparts before the school experimentation that took place in the 1960's and 1970's.



This data has been spurring the back to basic movement that started in the late 1970's. 



SUMMERHILL PHILOSOPHY:



LEARN WHAT YOU WANT, WHEN YOU WANT, HOW YOU WANT, ONLY IF YOU WANT.



JOHN DEWEY'S PHILOSOPHY:



CURRICULUM SHOULD BE BUILT AROUND THE INTERESTS OF THE CHILD AND SHOULD BE BETTER RELATED TO THE COMMUNITY AND THE SO-CALLED REAL-LIFE ACTIVITIES.



COMMITTEE OF TEN (1893):



all students should be liberally educated whether college bound or not;

all should study English, history, foreign language, science, mathematics;

secondary schools "do not exist for the prupose of preparing boys and girls for colleges;"

a common liberal educaton is the best preparation for the duies of life, whatever the pupil's later destination.



CARDINAL PRINCIPLES OF SECONDARY EDUCATION (Committee on the Reorganization of Secondary Education):



secondary education should be determined by the needs of the society to be served, the character of the individuals to be educated, and the knowledge of educational theory and practice available.





The two views seem to be:



-should the student be fitted to the curriculum



-should the curriculum be fitted to the needs of the student.



What about today?  What's the new polarity?



-should the facts be made to fit the theory



-should the theory be made to fit the facts









or



-should our actions follow our feelings

-should our actions follow our reason





The primary consideration since 1918 seems to have been:



-social usefulness (of curriculum)



-efficiency (of the curriculum)



The new priorities (the 1980's):



-teach people to write, read and to express themselves



why?



-to produce clear thinkers, critical readers, literate and intelligent people



(ref: Education Digest, Jan 1985, p. 7)



-to master basic elements of arithmatic and mathematics



why?



-to be able to observe and interpret what they observe in order to be able to make intelligent choices and decis ions



why?



-necessary for a democracy to survive



To achieve these priorities, we must:



l. define required subjects



2. institute nationwide testing standards



3. give schools more authority over students



4. make teaching more attractive to get and keep the best