Many people understand that education is in desperate need of reform, but few recognize how radical the reform must be.
What is needed is not a bigger education budget, a stronger teacher's union, smaller class sizes, or more rigorous testing procedures.
But neither is the solution simply a renewed spirit of intellectualism and mental rigor, or a return to the traditional curriculum of Western civilization and literary classics, or the expulsion of politically correctness from the classroom.
What is needed is a basic, pedagogical revolution—a revolution in the selection of content taught to students, and the method by which that content is presented.
This revolution entails a ruthlessly stripped-down curriculum that includes only that which is indispensable to the child's basic intellectual development, ridding education of non-essential content that distracts from and dilutes the core material. It entails a vigilant commitment to ensuring that students have a real, grounded, independent grasp of everything they are taught, and are never merely parroting the teacher. It entails a presentation of the material that is always integrated around a definite purpose, with each piece related clearly to the whole, and constant encouragement of the students to seek connections of their own. It entails a continual effort to properly motivate the students, demonstrating the personal value to their own lives of the knowledge they are working to acquire. . . .