Pennsylvania College of  Technology
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Dr. Ed Vavra, 
Assoc. Prof. of Rhetoric
Bibliographies Section

Education and Educational Psychology

Suggested Reading

     The Bibliography on Education and Educational Psychology has become a bit overwhelming for teachers and parents who are visiting this site. Where should they begin? The following list is intended to help. Please note that my perspective on this problem is that of a college teacher of composition, and that my particular interest is the teaching of grammar.

1. Gross, Martin L. The Conspiracy of Ignorance: The Failure of American Public Schools. NY: HarperCollins, 1999. 

In addition to being among the most recent, this is also one of the most readable books for the general public. It also offers nineteen specific suggestions for  improving the schools.  [See also: Notes & Quotes] [I would like to thank Dr. Sandra Stotsky, of the Harvard Graduate School of Education for referring  J. Martin Rochester to me when he turned to her with questions about the teaching of grammar, and I want to thank Dr. Rochester for bringing this book (and Hirsch's) to my attention.]
2. Hirsch, E.D. Jr. The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them. NY: Doubleday, 1996. 
Hirsch covers some of the same ground that Gross does, but he goes into much more detail in meeting many of the objections of the educational establishment. [See also: Notes & Quotes]
3. Sykes, Charles J. Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why America's Children Feel Good About Themselves but Can't Read, Write, or Add. NY: St. Martin's Press, 1995. 
This is a very important book for anyone concerned with the state of education [See also: Notes & Quotes]
4. Sykes, Charles J. ProfScam: Professors and the Demise of Higher Education. Washington, D.C. Regnery Gateway. 1988. 
Like most of my colleagues teaching in colleges, I worked in my little field, and, although I complained about the poor preparation of students, I didn't do much. ProfScam made me realize that speaking up is my responsibility.  [See also: Notes & Quotes]
5. Damerell, Reginald G. Education's Smoking Gun: How Teachers Colleges Have Destroyed Education in America. NY: Freundlich Books, 1985. 
When I was in high school, almost forty years ago, my English teacher made fun of the education courses that he was required to take. Now I see why. Closing the undergraduate education programs would be a major step toward improving education. Damerell explains why, in great, and understandable detail. [Notes & Quotes]
6. Kramer, Rita. Ed School Follies: The Miseducation of America's Teachers. Free Press, 1991.
For those of us who are familiar with what is going on in "schools" of education, this is a dreary book, but for people who are unfamiliar with such schools, this is an excellent introduction. [Notes & Quotes]

This border presents

Edouard Manet's
(French 1832-1883) 
Le Dejeuner sur L'Herbe
1863, Oil on canvas, Musee d'Orsay, Paris
Mark Harden's WWW Artchive

Click here for the directory of my backgrounds based on art.

[for educational use only]