The End of Education

The End of Education

Redefining the Value of School

Book - 1995
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Baker & Taylor
A critical analysis of American education states that poor motivational techniques and a lack of focus are at the core of most problems and offers four methods that can be implemented to promote education reform

Book News
Well known social critic Postman begins by describing how schools early in the century sought to forge a coherent and unified culture from the diverse traditions, languages, and religions in the US. He then contrasts today's goals of economic utility, consumership, mechanical solutions, and separatist multiculturalism. Not surprisingly, he has some suggestions. He offers narratives for redefining education: preserving the earth, acknowledging the imperfection of knowledge, America as an experiment rather than success or failure, the strengths and weaknesses of all cultures, and the primary importance of communication. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
In this brilliantly challenging response to the education crisis, Neil Postman returns to the subject that established his reputation as one of our most insightful social critics. Starting from his belief that schooling is now too often a trivial pursuit, a mechanical exercise, he argues with stunning clarity that we have lost sight of the inherent value and substance of learning, and sets out to restore it for our time.
Postman begins by portraying the American education of an earlier part of this century, when we knew what schools were for - to create a coherent, stable, unified culture out of a people of diverse traditions, languages, and religions.
Shifting his focus to contemporary education, Postman outlines the markedly different narratives, or "gods," that underlie our present conception of school, and shows how poorly they serve us. The new gods are economic utility (education only as a means to a good-paying job), consumership (the belief that you are what you accumulate), technology (a reliance on mechanical solutions, not critical judgment), and separatism ("multicultural" instincts that split groups off from a unifying cultural pluralism).
In describing how education may reasonably and creatively respond to - or redefine - these problems of modernity, the author presents useful narratives to help schools recover a sense of purpose, tolerance, and respect for learning. These include the Spaceship Earth (preserving the earth as a unifying theme), the Fallen Angel (learning driven not by absolute answers but by an understanding that our knowledge is imperfect), the American Experiment (emphasizing the successes and the failures of our evolving nation), the Law of Diversity (exposure to all cultures in their strengths and their weaknesses), and Word Weavers (the fundamental importance of language in forging our common humanity).
Postman's The End of Education heralds a new beginning. It seeks to provide solutions while provoking debate. Postman offers a redefinition of the end of education - the essential first step before we rethink and freshly determine the means.

Baker
& Taylor

A critical analysis of American education states that poor motivational techniques and a lack of focus are at the core of most problems and offers four methods that can be implemented to promote education reform. 25,000 first printing. Tour.

Publisher: New York : Knopf, 1995.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780679430063
0679430067
Branch Call Number: 370.973 POS
Characteristics: xi, 209 p. ; 22 cm.

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britprincess1
Jan 29, 2013

It spends too much time dwelling on the concept of god and religion and not enough on education. It is the kind of book whose contents you expect to be spurted at homeschoolers from crazed backwoods zealots. All talk with nothing substantial to say. Very disappointing read.

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