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
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
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.