The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School

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9780679750314: The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School

Postman suggests that the current crisis in our educational system derives from its failure to supply students with a translucent, unifying "narrative" like those that inspired earlier generations. Instead, today's schools promote the false "gods" of economic utility, consumerism, or ethnic separatism and resentment. What alternative strategies can we use to instill our children with a sense of global citizenship, healthy intellectual skepticism, respect of America's traditions, and appreciation of its diversity? In answering this question, The End of Education restores meaning and common sense to the arena in which they are most urgently needed.



"Informal and clear...Postman's ideas about education are appealingly fresh."--New York Times Book Review

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About the Author:

Neil Postman was University Professor, Paulette Goddard Chair of Media Ecology, and Chair of the Department of Culture and Communication at New York University. Among his twenty books are studies of childhood ( The Disappearance of Childhood), public discourse ( Amusing Ourselves to Death), education ( Teaching as a Subversive Activity  and   The End of Education), and the impact of technology ( Technopoly). His interest in education was long-standing, beginning with his experience as an elementary and secondary school teacher. He died in 2003.

From Booklist:

One of the best writers among contemporary cultural critics, Postman is never better than when writing about education. His Janus-faced title refers both to the idea that schools as we know them are on the way out and to his own perception that American schools need new reasons-- ends for learning. He calls such reasons "gods" --cultural conceits intended to inspire students to learn. He critiques gods that are failing in today's schools, such as the god of economic utility, in whose name students are supposed to believe that if they get through school halfway well, they will then get a well-paying job, and the god of consumership, whose golden rule is: The one who dies owning the most toys wins. He then proposes five new gods to make schooling vital again. He calls the five "The Spaceship Earth," "The Fallen Angel," "The American Experiment," "The Law of Diversity," and "The Word Weavers/The World Makers." If each of these rubrics has the ring of a familiar belief system, well, each is meant to. As Postman defines the five, they are myths, in the most complimentary sense of the word, for realizing ourselves as responsible individuals in our communities, from smallest to largest. Beautifully written, breathtakingly high-minded, this is Postman's best book on American education. Ray Olson

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780679750314

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780679750314

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