Education: All for One, One for All

A tiny band of educational critics has recently produced a flurry of books complaining that U.S. public schools stifle, rather than stimulate, the natural joy that children should find in learning. While these academic reformers differ considerably in their formulas for improvement, they do have one big bond in common: each has written rave reviews urging the public to read the books of the others.

The inner circle of back scratchers consists of John Holt (How Children Learn), Jonathan Kozol (Death at an Early Age), Robert Coles (Children of Crisis), Edgar Z. Friedenberg (Coming of Age in America) and Herbert Kohl (36...

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