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Extended Audio Sample The Schools We Need: And Why We Don’t Have Them, by E. D. Hirsch Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (116 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: E. D. Hirsch Narrator: Anna Field Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A child’s mind is hungry for knowledge, stimulation, and the excitement of learning which school should provide—yet most American schools fall far short. From kindergarten through high school, our public educational system is among the worst in the developed world. In disdaining content-based curricula for abstract (and discredited) theories of how a child learns, our schools have done terrible harm to America’s students. Instead of preparing them for the highly competitive, information-based economy in which we now live, our school practices have severely curtailed their ability—and desire—to learn. But research has shown that if children are taught in ways that emphasize hard work, the learning of facts, and rigorous testing, their enthusiasm for school will grow, their test scores will rise, and they will become successful citizens of the information age.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Hirsch’s] book presents a sophisticated, scholarly and often compelling argument and it deserves serious consideration, whatever one’s political predilections.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Offers a penetrating and compelling analysis of how, despite the good intentions of educators, bad ideas and failed theories now characterize American education.”

    Indianapolis Star

  • “A damning, highly provocative, full-scale assault on today’s educational establishment.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An on-target indictment of an educational system that refuses to recognize the madness in its teaching methods.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A brilliant, combative, and intensely practical discussion of how our education system got into its current mess and what we must do to pull it out.”

    Donna Fowler, American Federation of Teachers

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Frank | 10/3/2013

    " Some parts are excellent... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Suz | 6/1/2013

    " Found Ed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Casey | 5/8/2013

    " While some of his points carry validity, his tone was snarky and he made some wild generalizations and accusations. It was refreshing to get another point of view, but I think he could have presented it more tactfully. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by John | 12/29/2012

    " Facinating insight into American schools and why we are falling behind. Highly recommended for anyone researching our current public schools. "

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About the Author

E. D. Hirsch, Jr., is a professor at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and the author of the bestselling Cultural Literacy and the The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy.  He is also president of the nonprofit Core Knowledge Foundation, whose curriculum is followed by more than two hundred schools. Recent independent research on these schools has documented significant progress by both disadvantaged and advantaged students.