To the Editor:
Teaching skills or teaching knowledge? It’s like debating which came first, the chicken or the egg. Common sense tells us we need both, and E.D. Hirsch Jr.’s April 26, 2006, Commentary (“Reading-Comprehension Skills? What Are They Really?”) reminds us educators that we need to keep our approaches to teaching reading comprehension balanced.
His essay helps keep us focused on the importance of building a society that possesses knowledge, which in turn can be used to develop skills and to shape attitudes that contribute to a good citizenry. He makes a good argument for less skills-training and more content-oriented approaches in our schools. Bravo, Mr. Hirsch!
St. Louis, Mo.
A version of this article appeared in the May 24, 2006 edition of Education Week as Skills or Knowledge? We Need a Balance of Both