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American Educator
Summer 1992


Table of Contents


Putting Children First
By William A. Galston

Too many American children are suffering, economically and emotionally. Only we adults can set things rights; to do so will require a strong does of personal responsibility, combined with social and economic policies that support the family.

Magical Hopes
Manipulatives and the Reform of Math Education
By Deborah Loewenberg Ball

Fraction bars, base-ten blocks, and Popsicle sticks: Is the use of concrete objects such as these the sure road to mathematical understanding? Not so fast, says the author; they're not magic, and if we act as if they are, the trick may be on us and our students.

Geography Makes a Comeback

After years of being lost in an overcrowded social science curriculum, geography is on the road back, and we are happy to join in the welcome, with these items: an excerpt from George J. Demko's lively and informative new book, Why in the World: Adventures in Geography; two ready-to-use lesson plans from the National Geographic Society, both representative of a more analytical geography; and a compilation of resources for teachers.

The Great Divide
Students and Parents Satisfied, Employers and Colleges Not
A Report from the Committee for Economic Development

Students think they're pretty well prepared for jobs and college, and their parents agree. But employers and college educators say they had better take off the rose-colored glasses.

Reaching Beyond the Self
Service Learning for Middle Schoolers
By Diane Harrington

When ours was a more agrarian society, young adolescents contributed to the common work. Their need to be useful hasn't changed, and her are programs that provide them with meaningful opportunities.

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About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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