His discussion of what is wrong with schools is cogent and shrewd . . . for a concise analysis of why schools fail (when they do), his book is certainly right on the mark.
In Between Hope and Havoc, Frank Smith reflects on a range of subjects critical to the professional and personal lives of teachers, from the human potential for learning to the failed bureaucratic efforts to systematize education. Anyone interested in how learning happens and what obstructs it will find a rich source of ideas, insight, and encouragement in this volume.
Among other things, Frank Smith considers
- the act of reading in relation to other kinds of human experience
- why attitudes toward teaching reading and writing are divided along ideological lines
- how reading and writing are taught and talked about- frequently to the detriment of learners
- the way language and the way we are taught form our personal identity
- the role and influence of teachers as individuals and of schools as communities
- how realistic are expectations that research will answer our questions about teaching and learning.
Frank Smith, one of the most respected researchers and commentators on education in the English-speaking world, is well known for his unflagging support for teachers and his provocative analyses of today's educational scene. The essays featured here were written over the last few years, mainly in conjunction with workshops and seminars he has conducted.
1. What the Brain Does Well 2. The Power of Language--First, Second, and Written 3. What Happens When You Read? 4. Learning to Read: The Never-Ending Debate 5. Overselling Literacy 6. What Good Is a Teacher in the Information Age? 7. How Schools Must Change 8. Research: Getting on Top and Out from Under 9. Let's Call Education a Disaster (And Get On with Our Lives)
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