3 out of 4 stars
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Many devastating challenges are facing the education system. Bullying is until now an issue. Gun violence has been reported in many public schools. No one can explain how several guns could be illegally carried into US schools each day. There are also issues such as the shocking statistics of students abusing illegal drugs like marijuana. These ills are also reflected in other sectors like the Criminal Justice System. However, what is more worrying is that these students are the hope and future of the world. What happened? Who is to blame? What needs to be done?
The Downfall of Education-Who’s at Fault was authored by Cynthia Waddell Underwood. The book was published in 2019 by Outskirts Press. It presents the overwhelming challenges facing the education system and possible remedies based on research, observations, interviews, and the author’s work experience. The book is 293 pages long and contains nine parts handling diverse issues.
Cynthia Waddell has managed to identify both crucial issues that need to be addressed by policymakers and those to be addressed by parents as well. All stakeholders in education have been called to take action to confront all the problems discussed. It is worth noting the author managed to point out the fact that all players including the government, educators, parents, community, and students have contributed to the menace. She additionally provided numerous resources on homeschooling as an alternative option that parents can pursue. One will also find statistics from various extensive researches on homeschooling and why many people are opting for it.
What I liked most about the book is that everyone was called to action. Moreover, the author suggested pragmatic solutions such as the need for the effecting of a beginners’ unit allowing teachers to address students on self-worth. Several recommendations touching on the school curriculum were also brought forward. Success stories from countries where moral values are emphasized over passing tests such as Japan were also included, and consequently, the need for value-based education was raised.
The importance of the issues raised by the author can be satisfactorily proven by the impressive statistics that she provided. Parents opting for homeschooling and teacher-shortage due to lack of respect, threats from students, and other vices in the school setting provide adequate evidence for the much-needed robust changes in the education system. Although the book addressed issues in US schools alone, I believe they apply to several other countries. The recommendations can, therefore, be tailored to focus on the specific needs in these countries. The only thing I disliked in the book was the repetition of some statements.
The language employed in the book was straightforward and in this way, the book was easy to read. Editing was fairly done since I discovered some grammatical errors in it. Therefore, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend the book to all students, parents, and readers interested in the betterment of the education system. It will also appeal to researchers and key policymakers in the education sector. Readers who are averse to religious tolerance may steer clear of this one because the author justifies support for religious practices in schools.
The Downfall of Education-Who's at Fault
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