American Educator: Spring 2006

  • Notebook

    Deng Wenping Succumbs to Silicosis

    In the Summer 2005 issue of American Educator, we reported on an AFT delegation that traveled to Hong Kong and China to see how workers are faring. The delegation was especially concerned about workers in China's "...

  • Knowledge: The Next Frontier in Reading Comprehension

    Reading scores of the nation's 9-year-olds have been rising for the past 15 years—particularly among the lowest-scoring children and, more recently, among black and Hispanic children. This good news is almost certainly due largely to the consensus that finally emerged about what constitutes the...

  • Building Knowledge

    The Case for Bringing Content into the Language Arts Block and for a Knowledge-Rich Curriculum Core for all Children E. D. Hirsch, Jr.

    I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.... Soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.

    –J. M. Keynes...

  • What Do Reading Comprehension Tests Mainly Measure? Knowledge

    E. D. Hirsch, Jr.

    I want to outline some facts about reading comprehension tests that are not widely known, yet need to be familiar to any parent, teacher, or citizen who is interested in educational improvement. Let's begin by considering the fourth-grade guidelines for teaching and testing reading comprehension...

  • Engaging Kids with Content: "The Kids Love It"

  • How We Neglect Knowledge—and Why

    Susan B. Neuman
  • Why the Absence of a Content-Rich Curriculum Core Hurts Poor Children Most

  • How Knowledge Helps

    It Speeds and Strengthens Reading Comprehension, Learning—and Thinking Daniel T. Willingham

    "Knowledge is Good." So read the motto of the mythical Faber College in the 1978 movie, Animal House. Those of us who work in education would agree, even if we were unable to express ourselves so eloquently. But why, exactly, is knowledge good? When I've discussed this question with...

  • Knowledge in the Classroom

    Daniel T. Willingham

    One sometimes hears that the real goal of education is "learning to learn." As the proverb says, "Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime." Better to teach students how to learn facts on their own, rather than teach them facts....

  • Virtual Exhibits, Genuine Learning

    Museums' Web Sites Are Nearly as Fascinating as the Museums Themselves—and Much More Comprehensive

    Since museums first began to serve the public in the late 1700s, one of their primary objectives has been education. From the arts to the sciences and from objects to ideas, museums have aimed not only to collect works of local or national significance, but to display them in a way that would be...

  • Conjuring Willa Cather

    A Teacher on the Magic of Good Examples Patricia R. Pickard

    "This is how you do it. Watch." Kids will do what we show them. Thirty-six years of rearing a big family and teaching elementary and college students has taught me that our children will learn anything that is modeled—good, bad, or indifferent.

    At the end of her first week of...