Weinberg is an experienced teacher who has performed (as he would probably describe it) in elementary and secondary schools...

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EDUCATION IS A SHUCK: How the Educational System is Failing Our Children

Weinberg is an experienced teacher who has performed (as he would probably describe it) in elementary and secondary schools and college. He writes with wit and style and his class and teachers' meeting dialogues ring true as the first period bell. However, although Weinherg's denunciations of what's shuck or sheer idiocy in the public schools are potent, his approach bears some similarity to Melton's (see above) -- he strains for dramatic effect and also does not attempt specific solutions -- just don't do what you're doing. He attacks with buccaneer enjoyment the stupidity of most behavior rules (don't talk, sit up straight, etc.); mindless rituals (if you want to know what ""liberty"" means in the Pledge, ""look it up""); teaching students to survive in school, not to learn; the IQ and ""Ability"" tests; the ""tracking"" system, whereby a kid may be locked into a damning category for the duration; education funds which do little but improve the status of the spenders; ""free"" education which becomes simply an ego trip for the cultists; and the atmosphere which tells children they must: do good, look good, and if you can't, pull everyone else down. Along the way Weinberg includes ""essays"" from an archetypical school-battered child who tells it -- beautifully -- day-by-day: the honor of being ""Bum of the Week""; a session with the shop teacher who calls everybody ""Dummy."" Solutions? Well, there's Humanistic Education (learning is growth) and Achievement Education (learning means achievement). Shucks -- ain't nothin' new but it's good gritty reading.

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Morrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1974