Phi Beta Cons

Ed Schools and the Dumbing Down of the Teaching of Literature

In this week’s Pope Center Clarion Call, I write about a paper by Sandra Stotsky in which she examined trends in the teaching of high-school literature classes. In short, they’re being “dumbed down” as teachers choose books that are easy and fun, then assign the students written work that is more apt to involve their feelings than careful analysis. I suggest that these developments are consistent with the “learner-centered” theory that is commonly promulgated in education schools.

Besides that, easy books and assignments make the teacher’s life simpler.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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