- 6,99 €
Schools on Trial is an all-in attack on the American way of education and a hopeful blueprint for change by one of the most passionate and certainly youngest writers on this subject.
Are America’s schools little more than cinder-block gulags that spawn vicious cliques and bullying, negate creativity and true learning, and squelch curiosity in their inmates, um, students? Nikhil Goyal—a journalist and activist all of twenty years old, whom The Washington Post has dubbed a “future education secretary” and Forbes has named to its 30 Under 30 list—definitely thinks so. In this book he both offers a scathing indictment of our teach-to-the-test-while-killing-the-spirit educational assembly line and maps out a path for all of our schools to harness children’s natural aptitude for learning by creating an atmosphere conducive to freedom and creativity. He prescribes an inspiring educational future that is thoroughly democratic and experiential, and one that utilizes the entire community as a classroom.
Goyal, a 20-year-old education reform activist and the 2013 recipient of the Freedom Flame Award, criticizes America's traditional schools, with their heavy focus on grades and standardized testing, and argues in favor of educational apprenticeships, maker schools that emphasize project-based learning, and democratic free schools that reject grades and required classes in favor of "play and self-directed learning." Goyal convinces readers that American students are stressed out, overworked, subjected to extreme standardized testing, and disengaged from learning, but some of his proposed alternatives don't seem tenable. The workshop or maker programs implemented in schools, libraries, and museum across the U.S. seem to be economically and racially diverse, but the high price tag on some of the "free schools," with one charging as much as $18,000 a year for preschool and another more than $25,000 a year for K-12, places them out of reach for many families. Goyal argues that traditional schools increase bullying and depression because students' creativity and their voices have been squelched out of the classroom. Depressingly for a book that argues about the need to hear from students, Goyal's work includes few comments from students of color (the students most likely to be victimized by schools' strict disciplinary policies). Ultimately, the book's meticulous research and detailed examination of the history of the American educational system drown out the words of those affected most: the students.