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Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs…

Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know

by E.D. Hirsch Jr.

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Of the nearly 7,000 entries, about 500 are new, and another 1,000 have been revised from the 1988 and 1992 editions. The focus is on American culture, and foreign readers have been pleased to learn the meaning of several obtuse popular phrases and usages. Pronunciation guides are provided for many entries. ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  Tutter | Feb 6, 2015 |
What everybody used to know
  kijabi1 | Jan 6, 2012 |
This book should be utilized as a basis to restructure the curriculum of education at the elementary and middle school level within the US. It is clear that in general Americans lack the necessary knowledge to understand discourse on serious subjects in an easy manner. ( )
  aevaughn | May 24, 2011 |
This should be taught in EVERY college english class if not high school! ( )
  homeofharris | Oct 23, 2010 |
One of the most memorable books I have ever read and absolutely essential. Hirsch identified the fact that American education began to slide and he noticed that kids were not learning the foundational knowledge that would make them successful in American life. American education has slid since then as many critics misunderstood his goals. Critics considered his summary of literacy as an attack on kids who had not mastered foundational knowledge since they believed in the `I'm OK, you're OK' school of thought. The U.S. has fallen behind many other countries and Hirsch documented how Americans could master the key knowledge they needed to know in order to have a claim to literacy. As the years have unfolded Hirsch has been proven correct as other countries performed what American teachers and adminisrs did not insist on and the kids did not learn.

"Although nationalism may be regrettable in some of its world wide political effects, a mastery of national culture is essential to mastery of the standard language in every modern nation. This point is important for educational policy, because educators often stress the virtues of multicultural education. Such study is indeed valuable in itself; it inculcates tolerance and provides a perspective on our own traditions and values. But however laudable it is, it should not be the primary focus of national education. It should not be allowed to supplant or interfere with our schools' responsibility to ensure our children's mastery of American literate culture. The acculturative responsibility of the schools is primary and fundamental. To teach the ways of one's own community has always been and still remains the essence of the education of our children who enter neither a narrow tribal culture nor a transcendent world culture but a national literate culture. For profound historical reasons, this is the way of the modern world. It will not change soon, and it will certainly not be changed by educational policy alone" (p. 18).
1 vote gmicksmith | Jul 9, 2009 |
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Rousseau points out the facility with which children lend themselves to our false methods: . . . "The apparent ease with which children learn is their ruin." -- John Dewey
To the memory of my father
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To be culturally literate is to possess the basic information needed to thrive in the modern world.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394758439, Paperback)

In this forceful manifesto, Hirsch argues that children in the U.S. are being deprived of the basic knowledge that would enable them to function in contemporary society. Includes 5,000 essential facts to know.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:32 -0400)

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Argues that American children are deprived of cultural literacy.

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