No Child Left Thinking: Standardized Education and the Decline of Democratic Society

March 15, 2016

To many people, it sounds like a good idea: hold teachers increasingly accountable to a standardized curriculum designed to prepare students for the job market. Joel Westheimer argues that this kind of focus betrays the trust of our teachers and students, erodes the progress of democratic society and impedes the pursuit of many of our most important societal goals.

Questions to think about:

  • What are the best ways to foster exceptional teaching in public schools?
  • How can we implement positive change in large and politically challenging systems like public education?
  • Are the goals of education the same at different ages and levels? Should we teach dissent?

Joel Westheimer, a former teacher in the New York City Public School system, is the University Research Chair in the Sociology of Education at the University of Ottawa and an education columnist for CBC Radio.


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