4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
In this academic case of video-based educational learning versus traditional classroom instruction and critical thinking versus indoctrination, The Coming Collapse and Recovery of Public Education, by Donald Wilber, highlights some important fundamental problems in the education system.
The book revolves around three main characters: Donna Kane, the dean of the College of Education at Harbridge and a devoted educator who supports independent schooling and disapproves of the nationalization of curriculum; Adine Dorson, a professor working under Donna who disapproves of her strategies; and Aaron Isaac, developer of SchoolTools digital courseware. The story is about the rapidly changing culture of local schools and the shift towards oral tests based on different viewpoints about subject matters rather than fact-based learning.
Donna, the main character of the story, is striving hard to bring back past moral and social teachings in which children receive an education according to their talents. She happens to meet Aaron, who developed a video-based educational software designed to create engaging online classroom curricula and to provide an opportunity for children to connect with other children all around the world. But Adine and the National Teachers Association oppose the idea, fearing that the software would eradicate the need for teachers in classrooms. Thus, they start scheming against Donna and Aaron, suing them for introducing a program that would turn the whole educational system upside down. The novel narrates the struggle that Donna and Aaron experience in attempting to repair a damaged academic system.
Although the book is categorized in the “Other Fiction” genre, the plot seemed plausible, and I found myself in agreement with the new educational program offered by the author. In keeping with the current disruption in education caused by the circumstances of the pandemic, this book provides an opportunity for improvement and adaptation. The author has contemplated the significance of critical thinking and the need for the inclusion of digital media in schooling. As the novel’s character, columnist Wendell Thomas, says, “I’ve read that the intellectual mind is one possessing a mix of inquisitiveness, creativity and rationality.”
Anyone — including professors, parents, and students — can read this book. It provides a solution, in the form of online courses, to the recent problems generated by the pandemic. In addition, teachers have an opportunity to understand the importance of adapting to the world of digital teaching with an emphasis on critical thinking. Parents can also get a few pointers on how the current change in learning could be “the best ever known education” for their children.
Overall, the book seemed to be carefully edited, and there was no use of profane language. As a result, the book has earned a four out of four stars rating. It was a promising reading experience, and I would highly recommend it, especially in these changing times for education.
The Coming Collapse and Recovery of Public Education provides a modern view of online education based on the old-school academics of constructive debate, which gives a chance to build a just and equal society by “creating the international children of the future.”
The Coming Collapse and Recovery of Public Education
View: on Bookshelves