Education in Crises?
With nationwide battles between the State and the Teacher’s Union on how we teach our children, the only voices heard seem to be conservative and centrist. There doesn’t seem to be anyone representing the children, themselves. But progressive voices do exist, and we will speak with two of them concerning the current crises in American education.
Kate Burch is Principal of Harvest Collegiate High School which was her master’s thesis at Teacher’s College Columbia University. She graduated from Harvard with high honors in history and literature. She taught at an alternative school, Humanities Prep, for many years. In 2007 she spent a year in Ghana on a Fulbright from Yale and developed lessons about Africa to bring back to the classroom.
Alfie Kohn is an American author and lecturer who has explored a number of topics in education, parenting, and human behavior. He is considered a leading figure in progressive education and has also offered critiques of many traditional aspects of parenting, managing, and American society more generally, drawing in each case from social science research. Kohn’s challenges to widely accepted theories and practices have made him a controversial figure, particularly with conservatives and those who defend the specific practices he calls into question, such as the use of competition, incentive programs, conventional discipline, standardized testing, grades, homework, and traditional schooling.