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Why Education Is So Difficult and Contentious


Thanks to Mark St. John for suggesting this paper which he found especially useful and interesting.

Abstract: "This article proposes to explain why education is so difficult and contentious by arguing that educational thinking draws on only three fundamental ideas-that of socializing the young, shaping the mind by a disciplined academic curriculum, and facilitating the development of students' potential. All educational positions are made up of various mixes of these ideas. The problems we face in education are due to the fact that each of these ideas is significantly flawed and also that each is incompatible in basic ways with the other two. Until we recognize these basic incompatibilities we will be unable to adequately respond to the problems we face."