“Mr. Hirsch also takes issue with grade schools’ focus on ‘skills.’ Whether it is imparting ‘critical thinking skills,’ ‘communication skills’ or ‘problem-solving skills,’ he says such instruction is a waste of time in the absence of specific knowledge.”
Quote from “Bad Teaching Is Tearing America Apart” by Naomi Schaefer Riley in the Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2020.
Note: Kentucky’s current social studies standards are a case in point. This Kentucky document is loaded with discussions about stuff like “skills, habits and qualities of character” and “inquiry practices,” but woefully deficient in what Hirsch knows is most important – specific content. When a document that’s supposed to cover history never mentions people like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., you know it fits right in with Hirsch’s concerns about how little knowledge is being communicated to our kids.