Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Regressive Pedagogy


During the informal conversation following a meeting of Republicans on the Upper West Side of Manhattan last week (yes, there are a few Republicans on the UWS, outnumbered by something like 12 to 1 by Democrats), a black man said that most blacks he knows who are old enough to remember think education for black kids was better under segregation. I have no doubt that the main reason for this educational decline is actually attributable to the rise of “progressive” pedagogies, many of which we have discussed on this list. “Whole language,” “balanced literacy,” or whatever they call them, these new teaching methods do not teach reading and other basic skills in a systematic, step-by-step way, and so they leave behind the kids who most need that kind of systematic instruction. And, of course, those left behind include many, many black children from homes where reading is not a regular activity. Diana Lam, Diane Snowball, Lucy Calkin, take a bow.


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