Fifteen Thousand Hours

Berube, Maurice R.

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...What Postman wants then is: . ."an education that stresses his- tory, the scientific mode of thinking, the disciplined use of language and a wide-ranging knowledge of the arts and religion, and the continuity of the human enterprise...
...This is, of course, a strug- gle which must go on...
...mm FIRST PUBLICATION IN BOOK FORM The latest, most controversial chapters in .the sharp theological debate between the Vatican and two of the Church's most respected thinkers Consensus in Theology...
...Certainly this needs to be studied further...
...He calls for better manners, better dress and better attitudes toward school, and urges the elimination of all standardized tests.Indeed, it is for the Educational Testing Service that Postman reserves his most scathing condemnation...
...to learn how to participate, even if as a lis- tener, in what Robert Maynard Hutch- ins once called The Great Conversa- tion, which is merely a different metaphor for what is meant by the ascent of humanity...
...It has, he claims, foisted upon educators a bad idea, disguised as a technique, an idea that has made knowing how to take a test more important than knowing truth, beauty or other practical skills...
...Vive la difference...
...And unlike Coleman, tary schools through secondary schools...
...in-cludes Hans Kbng's most recent To be published April 14...
...As for Neil Postman, we should raise at least several questions about his bright idea on the relation of education to the information environment...
...But we also need to ask whether the amotjnt of time spent with electronic media and especially television is really a reliable indicator of the influence of that medium on children...
...I| Ill II 'l and restores focus to the efficacy of schooling on learning...
...In doing so, he would be correct...
...Maurice R. Berube lifteen Thousand Hours is an impor- r tant contribution to the debate on the influence of schooling...
...Mary Ann Barnhm'n, SND...
...It cuts against the grain of fashionable educational research Postman himself realizes that he is only imagining when he writes of the possibility that television may produce a population of "right-brained," nonanalyticai people...
...statement following his Vahcan $4.95 paper censure, and Schdlebeeckx's $12.95cloth THE WESTMINSTER PRESS 925 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa...
...What can we conclude...
...Rutter found that teachers with the highest ex- pectations as well as the most academic behavior had the most positive results...
...Rutter does not deal with achievement in And Rutter uses as his measurement of one point of time but over an extended achievement, not IQ tests, but school period followi~- "rodents from elemen- leaving exams...
...That behavior ranged from teaching the entire period (rather than being occupied with either small talk or administrative matters for a substantial time) to being punctual on the job...
...It is a matter of attitude...
...We need bright ideas, of course, but we need also to test them...
...In their novelty they appear to offer instant profundity to the cocktail-party conver- sationalist...
...In fact, it is the author's commonsense recommendations for school and curriculum reform that deserve our earnest attention...
...I FIFTEEN THOUSAND ll0UBS Michael Rutter et...
...SENSUS IN THEOLOGY...
...One of the most popular literary genres of the past several decades has been the "bright idea" book, which pleads with us to see things in a new way, alarms us with staggering sets of statistics, predicts in alternate years, Armageddon and the return to Eden...
...On the other hand, his more sweeping theses about the information environment, about the media and their relation to education, certainly need further scrutiny...
...Professor Irving Lazar in a new study shows that Head Start children in the sixties have less need for remedial clas- ses, are half as likely to become high school drop-outs than children who didn't attend Head Start, and are gener- ally all-around better citizens...
...And it tells us what laymen have suspected all along, and what middle-class parents never doubted: that it does make a difference where you go to school, Jencks notwithstanding...
...Is it not possible, for instance, that bright, normal children themselves "see through" television after a certain point and hence filter or even neutralize its power to some degree7 Finally, Postman seems dangerously close to embracing an historical fallacy in implying that, before the advent of elec- tronic media, the world was largely populated by a race of highly analytical, independent-minded, and upright be- ings, who were above being taken in by hucksters, con-men and fakers of any kind...
...Certainly, one cannot discount social background and heredity on academic achievement...
...a valuable time and space program for women religious September 19110to May 19111 Time to reflect, regenerate and respond...
...STEPHEN DARST has written for the New York Times, Harper's and other journals...
...Postman will probably be attacked by tired educational liberals who cannot imagine their classrooms without bluejeans, movies and free-for-all orgies of creative writing...
...A Dialogue with HANS KONG and EDWARD SCHILLEBEECKX With responses by David Tracy, Avery Dulles, Rosemary Ruether, George Lindbeck, and Others Edited by LEONARD SWlDLER Sure to be discussed and debated eloquent clarfficahon of his Chris- for years to come, "must" reading tology, as well as perspec-for everyone concerned with free tive-setting responses and an theological inquiry in the context overall Introduchon by Leonard of ecumenical dialogue, CON- Swtdler...
...Other research is corroborating Rutter...
...The research is substantial...
...In the final chapters of his book, Post- man spells out in greater detail how the school and its curriculum should be re- formed...
...Eight years ago, Christopher Jencks and his colleagues presented a research study, Inequality, as the definitive word on schooling and society...
...H~'vmrd University, $10, 285 pp...
...On the other hand, it is unwise to neglect the REVIEWERS FATHER RAYMOND A SEHROTH, S.J, is academw dean of Rockhurst College in Kan- sas City, Missouri...
...What is more, they are gener- ally long on metaphor (education- thermostat) and short on documented proof...
...MAURICE R BERUBE, author of The Urban University in America (Greenwood Press), is associate professor of education at Old Dominion University in Virginia...
...701 E. Columbia Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45215 513/821.7448 Moreover, Rutter employs participants-observers, borrowing a leaf from the anthropologists' book, to obtain a better picture of the school...
...One finding is that a school's climate makes part of that difference...
...Some principals and teachers, believing in the capability of the stu-dents, expected the most from them...
...Educators have always waged an unequal battle with the forces of darkness and superstition, and have always won over only a small percentage of humanity to the side of reasoned discourse and en- lightenment...
...Another factor which makes up part of the difference is teacher behavior...
...GEORGE W. SHEA is the Dean of the Liberal Arts College at Fordham University's Lincoln Center Campus in New York...
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...They present sweeping ideas that seem to explain very simply ex-tremely complex human problems...
...but we must see it in its historical context, as a process that is slow and painstaking, centuries long...
...He marshals impressive arguments for teaching cor- rect, yes even "better," elitist English and condemns egalitarian socio-linguistic theories...
...He condemns the use of media technol- ogy in classrooms, but strongly urges that the electronic media themselves be scrutinized and understood...
...Neff Postman would probably agree with this and urge his reforms all the louder...
...19107 An Active Spfrftualfty for the Global Community...
...Write or call with questions about our excellent staff, program or accommodations...
...As a result the researchers could tell the tone of the school from such items as fighting, damage to the school, or.whether students had pencils to answer the questionnaires...
...Commonweal: 220...
...The tone of the school is established by the principal and taken up by teachers...
...Space to stretch one's vision and integrate Gospel values...
...These books are terribly seductive...
...He calls for the study of lan- guage and, more important, of the nature of language and communication itself...
...to be familiar with the intel- lectual and creative processes by which the best that has been thought and said has been produced...
...Such, alas, was not the case...
...Ignorance is a hardy weed and has always adapted itself quickly to whatever information environment a cul- ture provides...
...The idea of one new monster to face, the Cyclopean tube, is simple and romantic, but wrong...
...Jencks ad- vanced the far from popular notion that schools have negligible effect in reduc- ing social inequality, and also that school resources have small impact on educaCommonweal: 218 social background...
...Brochures are available...
...Such criticism deserves to be ignored...
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Vol. 107 • April 1980 • No. 7


 
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