EDUCATION

The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System—and How To Fix It

Avery. Aug. 2019. 336p. notes. index. ISBN 9780735213555. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780735213579. ED
COPY ISBN

In this compelling work, journalist Wexler pinpoints the underlying issues that plague the American public education system, provides context to recent educational reforms, and offers possible solutions. Part 1 delves into current teaching methods that tend to stress decontextualized reading skills. The author argues that an emphasis on learning to read takes time away from reading to learn. Part 2 examines the historical underpinnings of the Common Core standards and the shift away from content-focused lessons. Part 3 suggests how curricula can be refocused on content rather than skills or standards. Throughout, Wexler discusses the centrality of prior knowledge and points out the lack of content or content scaffolding in many elementary and middle school curricula. She bases her conclusions on firsthand, yearlong observations of two types of teaching: skills-focused and knowledge-based. Knowledge and vocabulary building better prepare students for future academic achievement, regardless of socioeconomic background. Wexler shares candid assessments of innovative educators and the struggles faced by teachers dealing with standards and testing.

VERDICT Essential reading for teachers, education administrators, and policymakers alike.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.