Eric Donald Hirsch – USA

Linked with The Core Knowledge Foundation CK.

(Eric Donald Hirsch is an) American literary critic and educator who is best known for his work on cultural literacy. ‘What Every American Needs to Know’, 1987. He cowrote The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy 1988 (with Joseph F. Kett and James Trefil) and was the main editor of A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy 1989. Born in March 22, 1928, Memphis, Tenn., U.S. (Read more on Britannica).

He says: ”Gramsci saw that it was a serious error to discredit learning methods like phonics and memorization of the multiplication table as ‘outdated’ or ‘conservative’. That was the nub of the standoff between himself and another prominent educational theorist of the political Left, Paulo Freire. Like Gramsci, Freire (a Brazilian) was interested in methods of educating the poor. Unlike Gramsci, Freire has been quite influential in the United States”. (Read more on daily times).

… He is currently a University Professor of Education and Humanities and the Linden Kent Memorial Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Virginia. He is best known, however, for his writings on cultural literacy. He is considered the founder of the ‘back to basics’ movement. Hirsch holds degrees from Cornell University and Yale University. (Read more on wikipedia).

E-D- Hirsch - USA.jpg

Eric Donald Hirsch – USA

I would label myself a political liberal and an educational conservative, or perhaps more accurately, an educational pragmatist. Political liberals really ought to oppose progressive educational ideas because they have led to practical failure and greater social inequity.

The only practical way to achieve liberalism’s aim of greater social justice is to pursue conservative educational policies. (See more on daily times).

He says also: “Today’s Washington Post, I noticed, had a comment, which is typical, a sympathetic comment on the opinion expressed, that there is so much time spend on reading and math, not enough on other subjects.

Of course, the theme I guess you could summarize, the theme of The Knowledge Deficit as being, well, reading is not a subject except in the two… the period that you need, urgently need to decode words, to turn them into sounds, fluently and accurately, except for that, which is a subject of course, reading is not a subject. And it is perfectly useless to involve oneself in these formal, structural exercises which are so boring to the children and so futile in results; which as you know reading scores have not responded to that initiative. Now the main focus of the book is, of course, on the enhancing of students’ verbal abilities, which are highly correlated with other academic achievements, including achievement in science and even in math. And with respect to verbal abilities, there are two notable achievement gaps in American education; the first is a gap between our students’ reading levels and the reading levels of students in other countries. On that measure, we lag behind 16 countries. Those are the countries we are known to [indiscernible]. The second reading gap occurs within the United States, as you all well know, between demographic groups. It is a big fairness gap and on this measure, also, we lag behind many other countries, 20 of them according to the account of the OECD”. (Read in this Transcript all the debate – hold at the American Enterprise Insitution AEI and published on their website on October 16, 2006 - about the book: The Knowledge Defizit by E.D.Hirsch).

Eric Donald Hirsch, Jr. (born March 22, 1928) is a U.S. educator and academic literary critic. He is currently a University Professor of Education and Humanities and the Linden Kent Memorial Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Virginia. He is best known, however, for his writings on cultural literacy. He is considered the founder of the ‘back to basics‘ movement . Hirsch holds degrees from Cornell University and Yale University.(Read more on wikpedia).

In 1986, he founded The Core Knowledge Foundation CK.

Books:

The knowledge deficit, 2006: closing the shocking education gap for American children.

Validity in Interpretation, by Eric Donald Hirsch, Jr. Copyright Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn. 1967.

Innocence and experience, an introduction to Blake. By E. D. Hirsch.

Still big choice.

links:

Autor Hitlist (not dated);

Creative Arts;

Fellows.

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