Why School? The Answer Is Complicated, Says Noted Author

Mar 4, 2014

We are a society obsessed with education, but are we an educated society?

That's one of the questions posed in Why School? Reclaiming Education For All of Us.

Author Mike Rose presents a humanistic and democratic vision for education—and not just the K-12 variety.

Credit Steven Depolo / Flickr

"We justify schooling for the economic payoff, but measuring success strictly by a test score isn't in my view the way to go," said Rose.

According to Rose, educating students properly takes a multi-pronged approach that lies in well-trained teachers, an engaging curriculum, coordinated social services, and an embrace of the ideals of democratic education.

Rose draws on more than forty years experience as an educator and researcher and shows us up close through vignettes and stories what can happen when school works well: From first-graders caught up in a science lesson, to teenagers solving problems in a woodworking class, to college students becoming more astute writers, to adults coming back to school to jump-start a second chance.

"I subtitled the book 'Reclaiming Education For All of Us,' because I think we've lost our way," said Rose.

"We need to find our way back to an educational system that works for everyone, and we need to look more closely at solving the deeper problem of poverty and how that impacts student performance."

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax.