4Th Grade End Of The Year Math Test With Answers The Education Enigma

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The Education Enigma

Title: The enigma of education

Author: Bruce Deitrick Price

Publisher: Word-Wise Publishing

ISBN: 1-4392-3035-8

ISBN-13: 978-1439230350

The enigma of education is a book of essays about the educational system of the United States. The question Price raises is: What happened to American education? Price proclaims, “The simultaneous decline of American education and the language used by American educators is a historical fact.” Over the years I have done some research on this topic, particularly through editing and proofreading university papers. I found this book very interesting and I agree with much of what Price says.

The main core of Price’s essays is about the failure of our teaching methods to actually teach children to read. Explain the difference between teaching children to read using the whole word strategy and phonics, favoring phonics. According to Price, “When we examine education throughout the 20th century, we see a bewildering array of unproductive ideas. But no failure is as primal and destructive as the inability of America’s public schools to teach reading, the only essential skill”.

Through his essays Price also touches on topics in mathematics, history, science and art. In addition, he provides a history of the American education system along with its downward turn by referring to it as the “enthusiasm” of America. From John Dewey to Maria Montessori through Rudolf Flesch and Gilbert Highet, Price explains their philosophies and their effects on this country’s education system. He concludes, specifically regarding Dewey and his followers: “Make no mistake, this was a secret conspiracy.”

Along with that, Price makes an excellent point that I always disagreed with: kids need to memorize facts and figures even if they can look up the answers, either in a book or online. I have always believed that as long as children are taught where and how to look for answers, there is no need for state tests that cause stress to many of our children starting in fourth grade. His comment to this kind of theorizing is, “But will they? No, people tend to mess with what they really know in their heads.” I tend to agree with this point although I still feel there is too much emphasis on state testing.

The enigma of education is full of information and history related to the American education system. Through some of the titles of his essays it is easy to see that Price has a sense of humor: Jay Leno: Educator of the Year; Phooey on John Dewey; and educators are best understood as “engineers of ignorance.”

It’s important to note that Price isn’t throwing these jabs about the ineffectiveness of the school system at teachers in the trenches. It is aimed at those who control the creation and application of inappropriate teaching strategies. In Price’s words, “When I talk about ‘educators,’ I never mean teachers. I mean that small group of managers at the top, with doctors, who effectively control the public schools.”

A final quote from this book that I particularly liked: “…Another famous government report, A Nation at Risk (1983) concluded that our public schools appear to have been created by an enemy power. Exactly. An enemy that he would want Americans to read weakly and count imprecisely.”

About the author: Bruce Deitrick Price is a novelist, painter, poet and educational activist. He graduated from Norfolk Academy and Princeton (with honors in English literature). Throughout his career, Price was writing about education. Aside from the arts, her main passion is Improve-Education.org. Price is a member of PEN and Mensa.

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