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Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs…

Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know

by E.D. Hirsch Jr., E. D. Hirsch

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This was my first look at educational theory- and while I have doubts about Hirsch's proposed system, I found this book interesting. This book's greatest appeal is its effort to "demystify" literacy, and thus, make it accessible to every American- regardless of social rank. This book tries to remove the ambiguity of what makes a citizen adequately educated. Hirsch believes the end goal of cultural literacy is merely to foster efficient communication within a nation. But, honestly- not being able to quote Shakespeare is hardly Babel tower II. I really enjoyed the sections on memory, chunking, and reading speed/comprehension. And while I found this book interesting, I hope that the overall worth of an education is more than a checklist of haphazard facts. ( )
  Alidawn | Jan 15, 2016 |
I'm going to read this out of curiosity; I remember learning about this in high school and I agreed with the premise then. I realized that I'd never have understood Z if I never knew X. I believe that a lack of knowledge of some very basic things does keep our children from understanding most satire even when they are developmentally ready to handle it, and I see that their reading comprehension suffers tremendously when they don't have the prior knowledge necessary to make meaning to texts that are written by educated adults who assume kids these days are learning what they did at the same age.
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
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. ( )
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  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 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E.D. Hirsch Jr.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hirsch, E. D.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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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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