The United States is one of the most religious places on earth, but it is also a nation of shocking religious illiteracy. Only 10 percent of American teenagers can name all five major world religions and 15 percent cannot name any. Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the Bible holds the answers to all or most of life's basic questions, yet only half of American adults can name even one of the four gospels and most Americans cannot name the first book of the Bible. Despite this lack of basic knowledge, politicians and pundits continue to root public policy arguments in religious rhetoric whose meanings are missed—or misinterpreted—by the vast majority of Americans. "We have a major civic problem on our hands," says religion scholar Stephen Prothero. He makes the provocative case that to remedy this problem, we should return to teaching religion in the public schools. Alongside "reading, writing, and arithmetic," religion ought to become the "Fourth R" of American education. Many believe that America's descent into religious illiteracy was the doing of activist judges and secularists hell-bent on banishing religion from the public square. Prothero reveals that this is a profound misunderstanding. "In one of the great ironies of American religious history," Prothero writes, "it was the nation's most fervent people of faith who steered us down the road to religious illiteracy. Just how that happened is one of the stories this book has to tell." Prothero avoids the trap of religious relativism by addressing both the core tenets of the world's major religions and the real differences among them. Complete with a dictionary of the key beliefs, characters, and stories of Christianity, Islam, and other religions, Religious Literacy reveals what every American needs to know in order to confront the domestic and foreign challenges facing this country today.
Author: Diane Zahler
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2003-07-01
A practical handbook for students and trivia buffs utilizes a host of multiple-choice questions to test readers' knowledge of American and world history, geography, science, art and architecture, music, literature, myth and religion, quotations, current events, and other topics. Reprint.
Author: William Damon
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2010-06-15
Greater Expectations is the book that exposed the low standards that children are confronted with in our homes, our schools, and throughout our culture. It exploded many of the misconceptions about children and how to raise them, including the cult of self-esteem, "child-centered" learning, and other overly indulgent practices that have been watering down the education and guidance that we are providing our young people. It disclosed how the self-centered ethic is damaging our youth. Greater Expectations started America talking about these issues and about how young people need to be provided with challenges and a sense of purpose if we want them to survive and thrive in life. Provocative and challenging, Greater Expectations was a wake-up call, a must-read for anyone concerned about the growing youth crisis in America and what we can do about it.
In Critical Literacy Eugene F. Provenzo Jr. challenges E. D. Hirsch's assumptions about culture and education. Calling for a broader and more democratic vision than Hirsch, Provenzo critiques Hirsch's legacy up through the current conservative educational agenda for education which, he argues, denies, not only the United States' diversity, but its democratic traditions of democratic participation. His book shows why critical faculties and skills of students are essential not only to the success of individual students but to their participation in a healthy democracy. Provenzo offers a list of 5,000 things every educated American ought to know-- none of them the same items as those included on Hirsch's list in Cultural Literacy. Critical Literacy is essential reading for those concerned with our schools and the future of our children.
Author: Anne E. Cunningham, PhD
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Authored by two passionate psychologists and educators, Book Smart: How to Develop and Support Successful, Motivated Readers is a how-to guide rich with stories, lessons, activities, and ideas aimed at supporting reading development and addressing the broad range of interpersonal, social, emotional, and motivational skills that can be fostered by reading with young children. The early chapters in this book will help you get your child ready for school and ready to read, and the later chapters will help you foster your child's lifelong love of reading. Throughout the book, the authors also provide tips for building a special bond with your child through reading together, from giving appropriate praise to modeling persistence. Perhaps most importantly, this book serves as a guide along the path to raising an independent reader. This journey begins with a discussion of oral language and early reading skills and then moves into early writing attempts, story comprehension, general knowledge development, and social-emotional growth. This book will help parents bring the joy of reading into the home.
Author: E. D. Hirsch
Publisher: Harvard Education Press
Release Date: 2016-09-20
In this provocative book, influential scholar E.D. Hirsch, Jr., addresses critical issues in contemporary education reform - over-testing, teacher blaming, preschool fadeout, and the persistence of achievement gaps over time. In each case, he shows how cherished truisms about education and child development have led to unintended and negative consequences. Drawing on recent findings in neuroscience and new data from France, he provides new evidence for the argument that a coherent, knowledge-based elementary curriculum is essential to providing the foundations for children's life success and ensuring equal opportunity for students of all backgrounds.
Author: The New York Times
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2011-10-25
A COMPLETE REVISION AND THOROUGH UPDATING OF THE ULTIMATE REFERENCE FROM THE NEWSPAPER OF RECORD. A comprehensive guide offering insight and clarity on a broad range of even more essential subjects. Whether you are researching the history of Western art, investigating an obscure medical test, following current environmental trends, studying Shakespeare, brushing up on your crossword and Sudoku skills, or simply looking for a deeper understanding of the world, this book is for you. An indispensable resource for every home, office, dorm room, and library, this new edition of The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge offers in-depth explorations of art, astronomy, biology, business, economics, the environment, film, geography, history, the Internet, literature, mathematics, music, mythology, philosophy, photography, sports, theater, film, and many other subjects. This one volume is designed to offer more information than any other book on the most important subjects, as well as provide easy-to-access data critical to everyday life. It is the only universal reference book to include authoritative and engaging essays from New York Times experts in almost every field of endeavor. The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge provides information with matchless accuracy and exceptional clarity. This new revised and expanded third edition covers major categories with an emphasis on depth and historical context, providing easy access to data vital for everyday living. Covering nearly 50 major categories, and providing an immediate grasp of complex topics with charts, sidebars, and maps, the third edition features 50 pages of new material, including new sections on * Atheism * Digital Media * Inventions and Discoveries * Endangered Species * Inflation * Musical Theater * Book Publishing *Wikileaks *The Financial Crisis *Nuclear Weapons *Energy *The Global Food Supply Every section has been thoroughly updated, making this third edition more useful and comprehensive than ever. It informs, educates, answers, illustrates and clarifies---it's the only one-volume reference book you need.
Author: E. D. Hirsch
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: 2007-04-01
The Knowledge Deficit illuminates the real issue in education today -- without an effective curriculum, American students are losing the global education race. In this persuasive book, the esteemed education critic, activist, and best-selling author E.D. Hirsch, Jr., shows that although schools are teaching the mechanics of reading, they fail to convey the knowledge needed for the more complex and essential skill of reading comprehension. Hirsch corrects popular misconceptions about hot issues in education, such as standardized testing, and takes to task educators' claims that they are powerless to overcome class differences. Ultimately, this essential book gives parents and teachers specific tools for enhancing children's abilities to fully understand what they read.
Author: Ralph Alexander Smith
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Release Date: 1991
Thirteen experts in the visual arts, literature, music, dance, and theater responded to the arguments of E. D. Hirsch's "Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know", focusing particularily on his alarm at the serious slippage that has occurred in the background knowledge and information prerequisite for effective communication. These authorities addressed two questions: (1) What it means for people to be "literate" (that is, able to understand communications and have relevant experiences) in various art forms? (2) What sorts of context should such individuals bring to their encounters with works in these art forms and what would that imply for arts education? The contributing specialists are E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Harry S. Broudy, Jerrold Levinson, Patti P. Gillespie, Walter H. Clark, Jr., John Adkins Richardson, Francis Sparshott, Clifton Olds, Marcia Muelder Eaton, Ronald Berman, Lucian Krukowski, Michael J. Parsons, and David J. Elliot. (KM)