Friday, April 17, 2009

Real Education

Real Education by Charles Murray is a small book with a lot of content.

Charles Murray discusses education from kindergarten through post-graduate education. He makes some assertions that will offend those who believe that every child can perform at the same (top) level given enough money and attention. He states that variations in linguistic and logical-mathematical abilities do exist and no amount of education can completely change that. In other words, educationally-speaking, there are low-ability, average-ability and high-ability children.

Mr. Murray's goal for American education is to change the way it currently works in order to provide for the entire spectrum of children an education that works for whatever level their abilities might be, instead of insisting that everyone can be (or wants to be) a super scholar.

He sums up his plan this way:

"-Establish the limits of the possible.
-Find out what each child's abilities are.
-Give a safe and orderly classroom to every student who is trying to learn, no matter what.
- Teach the core knowledge curriculum to every student.
-Let gifted children go as fast as they can.
-Teach the forgotten half how to make a living.
-Expand choice.
-Use certification to undermine the BA."

All these ideas are fleshed out reasonably and thoughtfully. Mr. Murray also asks (and answers): Is college for everyone? Should every child in America be encouraged or expected to go to college? What sort of education should college provide? What should be the result of a college education, particularly a liberal arts education?

I liked this book a lot and am planning to loan it out to several friends of mine who also home school their children.



Blogger Dana said...

I already like him because he agrees with me :)

How did you find out about this book?

7:25 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I read a short interview with him in World magazine a few months ago. As soon as I read it I knew I had to read the book - he agrees with me, too!

9:10 AM  

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