How can education be reformed to foster critical thinking? Why do our best educated so often lead us toward political and ethical bankruptcy? What can be done to supplant the current testing mania?

In the EDUCATION MIRAGE, educator Ira Winn faces just such questions and more .Here you will learn creative teaching, not the piling of facts or memorizing what to think and the five reasons why (or is it seven reasons?) ---which leads to classroom stupor and an incredible forgetting rate.

Today, teaching is often mechanical, a lost art, even as the ongoing shortage of good teachers is a national catastrophe. And computers are not the magic key to reform, although they are an important adjunct. True reform always deals with the way we think, with sharpening abilities to make judgments and to questions facts, definitions, and values. The road to school and college hell is littered with quick fixes. We can do better, much better.

THE EDUCATION MIRAGE is subtitled: How Teachers Succeed and Why the System Fails, reflecting the division of the book into two distinct but inter-related parts.

Part I presents a view of teaching that is unconventional and that challenges common assumptions and "common sense". It asks why so much effort is misspent and huge investment wasted on teaching and learning things that don't transfer into life patterns and that are soon forgotten? It probes the nature and value of teaching critical thinking and problem-orientation --the how and the why of developing skills that DO have continuing life value and are consistently the focus of highly imaginative and successful teachers. (It was Einstein who declared that "imagination is more important than knowledge.") In many ways this section is a powerful indictment of teaching practices and general education at both secondary schools and universities.

Part II is a fascinating examination of the current state of American education and teaching, written for any educated reader. Here we will examine a wide variety of topics bearing on teaching and affecting the current political and environmental malaise: the effects of TV on education; high school reform; the mandated testing obsession; a student teacher's dilemma; the fuzzy environment of higher education; issues of teacher training; the education mirage as a crisis of culture etc., --and even a look back at "the closing of the American mind." The goal here is to view education as a reflection of society, and society as a reflection of the kind of education so generally purveyed.

This penetrating book will propose, question, challenge, provoke, amuse, puzzle, and, above all, educate the reader. It offers the kind of fresh perspectives on training and learning that will make for better teaching and more effective reform.

Teacher, professor, administrator, parent, student, and reformer will all benefit from engaging THE EDUCATION MIRAGE. It will cause you to rethink and revalue your own experience in the classroom as teacher or learner.


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The Education Mirage: How Teachers Succeed and Why the Syste
by Professor (Emeritus) Ira Winn

October 1, 2003
ISBN #0595291422
192 pages
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