Monday, May 05, 2008
Murray, Charles. "The Age of Educational Romanticism." NEW CRITERION (May 2008).
This is the story of educational romanticism in elementary and secondary schools —its rise, its etiology, and, we have reason to hope, its approaching demise. Educational romanticism consists of the belief that just about all children who are not doing well in school have the potential to do much better. Correlatively, educational romantics believe that the academic achievement of children is determined mainly by the opportunities they receive; that innate intellectual limits (if they exist at all) play a minor role; and that the current K-12 schools have huge room for improvement. Educational romanticism characterizes reformers of both Left and Right, though in different ways. Educational romantics of the Left focus on race, class, and gender. It is children of color, children of poor parents, and girls whose performance is artificially depressed, and their academic achievement will blossom as soon as they are liberated from the racism, classism, and sexism embedded in American education. Those of the Right see public education as an ineffectual monopoly, and think that educational achievement will blossom when school choice liberates children from politically correct curricula and obdurate teachers’ unions. . . . Read the rest here: http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/The-age-of-educational-romanticism-3835. The entire issue on Education is available for download here: http://www.newcriterion.com/currentissue.cfm.