Why Do We Have a Knowledge Deficit?
Educators place too much emphasis on teaching specific reading-comprehension skills at the expense of helping students build a strong knowledge base in academic subjects they are expected to read about, understand, and analyze, argues a policy paper by E.D. Hirsch Jr., the founder of the Charlottesville, Va.-based Core Knowledge Foundation, which advocates the idea that knowledge building is the best approach for improving academic achievement.
The paper also says that rather than adopting a curriculum based on knowledge building and assessing its impact, educators tend to blame social inequalities and poverty for their students’ inability to demonstrate critical-thinking and reading skills.
A version of this article appeared in the February 27, 2008 edition of Education Week