Since hardly anyone is happy with American schools, it's always open season for school reform—with inevitable calls for better teaching, better curriculums, better organization, etc., etc. In these continuing exhortations, little attention is paid to the role of the students themselves, the object of the "learning process." In this explosive book, Paul Zoch argues that what America most needs to improve its schools is not necessarily better teachers but a wholesale shift in the way it thinks about who or what creates academic success. The tendency to look to teachers for students' achievement, he maintains, is the cause of low performance. Tracing the development of educational ideas in the United States from the time of William James to the present day, Mr. Zoch shows how they have given the schools an obsessive focus on teachers and their teaching methods while neglecting the disciplined effort and hard work that students must expend in order to achieve. Because most students, in accordance with society's prevailing views, see their success as a product of what their teachers do, they devote little effort to their studies and, predictably enough, learn little. Their dedication to schoolwork, as Mr. Zoch demonstrates, falls far short of that routinely displayed by students in other, less prosperous countries. Doomed to Fail is one of the freshest and most compelling investigations of the plight of our schools to appear in many years. It is sure to create a beehive of controversy.
About Paul A. Zoch
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Published May 17, 2004
by Ivan R. Dee.
Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference.