Knight-Ridder/Tribune Columns & Articles

Newspaper Columns

Elsewhere on this site I've noted specific problems with the traditional curriculum. I use them again below to organize some of my newspaper columns. Most of these originally appeared in the Orlando (Florida) Sentinel, then were available to the 600+ newspapers served by Knight-Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

Note that these columns are compiled into a single, easy-to-read document in the free e-book The Road to Hell (link at right).

Clicking on "More" buttons will bring up thumbnails of the columns. Clicking on these will enlarge them to readable size.

The traditional "core" curriculum in place in America's schools and colleges:

A. has no clear, overarching aim

B. does not respect the brain's need for order and organization

C. neglects important fields of study

D. disregards the inherent seamlessness of knowledge

E. fails to move students through ever-increasing levels of complexity

F. does not distinguish between degrees of importance of content

G. insufficiently relates to real-world experience

H. neglects higher-order thought processes

J. unduly emphasizes symbol manipulation skills

K. has no built-in self-renewing capability

L. is overly dependent on extrinsic motivation

M. makes unreasonable demands on memory

N. lacks a comprehensive vocabulary shared by all educators

O. assigns students an unnatural, passive role

P. fails to put specialized studies in holistic perspective

Q. does not encourage novel, creative thought

R. penalizes rather than capitalizes on student variability

S. encourages simplistic methods of evaluation

T. neglects the basic knowledge-creating process

U. fails to address ethical and moral issues

(General reform problems/strategies)