The Knowledge Gap - The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System—And How to Fix It


How much do I want to read more? 7/10

Hmmm, the text is heavy, with blocks of paragraphs following each others.
What's interesting is we're like a mouse attending to the teacher's class, we can hear what the children say, and how the teacher teach. That is, we are in the middle of the psychology of teaching.
It's not that easy to teach a children something he never heard before, and there are many of such concepts to teach a child.

I didn't get yet why the America education is so broken (the teaching at the begining sounds good to me), and why knowledge should be a solution.
I thought comprehension is superior to knowledge.

Overall, not an easy read, but we get immersed in a variety of teaching. We'll see afterard what lesson to get from those teaching, and how to do it "better".


PART ONE - The Way We Teach Now - All You Need Is Skills

CHAPTER 1 - The Water They’ve Been Swimming In

Her goal today is to show her students that what makes something a caption isn’t where it appears on the page or what it looks like but what it does: it’s a label that describes a picture.

When another student objects that he hasn’t spelled the word right, Ms. Arredondo answers calmly, “That’s okay. That’s how he spells goat.”
she doesn’t want to get sidetracked into a spelling lesson, and she doesn’t want her students to lose confidence about writing down their ideas.
Ms. Arredondo sticks one of the Post-its with the word goll under the photograph of the tree-climbing goats, saying, “That tells us more about this picture.”


it’s the way she and virtually all other elementary teachers in the United States have been trained. If she’s having a hard time engaging her students, it’s not because she’s a bad teacher. In many ways, she does an excellent job.

The theory that has shaped the American approach to elementary education goes like this: Reading—a term used to encompass not just matching letters to sounds but also comprehension—is a set of skills that can be taught completely disconnected from content. eventually they’ll be able to grasp the meaning of any text put in front of them.
the argument goes, children need to spend their time “learning to read” before they can progress to “reading to learn.”
As a result, the amount of time schools spent on reading and math grew, while time spent on other subjects—particularly social studies—correspondingly decreased.

Like Ms. Arredondo, most teachers don’t question the idea of trying to teach reading comprehension as a set of discrete skills. It’s simply the water they’ve been swimming in.
despite many hours of practice and an enormous expenditure of resources, American students’ reading abilities have shown little improvement over more than twenty years,

“Summarizing is key ideas.”
And why, she asks, is it important to know how to summarize? “So you’re a better reader,” supplies one girl. “It helps you remember the story better,” says another. A boy chimes in: “It helps us better understand the story.”
five summarizing questions displayed behind her: who are the main characters, what do they want, what is the problem, how do they solve it, and what happens at the end.

“What’s a symbol?” Ms. Bauer begins.
“It’s something that tells you something but not with words, with a picture,” says one girl.
“Symbols represent ideas.”