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Teaching As a Conserving Activity Hardcover – 1 Jun 1979


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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting Past The Title Is The Hardest Part 14 Oct. 2000
By Mark Valentine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I presume that this book could be read more widely if it had a different title; "conserving" is too close to conservative, and admitting that your are conservative before teachers is like admitting you are a vegetarian during Thanksgiving dinner. Getting past the title, the book provides a thoughtful message that should not be neglected.
Postman's thesis regards a thermostat. Just as a thermostat is regulated to provide feedback, countering with heat to stop the chill before too much time passes, so education provides a counter to general culture. Postman calls the education that the general culture provides an individual the First Curriculum. Schools provide the Second Curriculum, the feedback to regulate and to balance the swing of the First Curriculum. In this light, his thesis has great merit.
Each of his chapters regard different aspects of education: the classroom, evaluations, media, language, and such. I found several practical ideas from this book and recommend it to anyone involved in education in any way.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Utopian given the way "schooling" is entrenched in our society? 2 July 2011
By helium123 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading Postman's work is a mixed blessing. While I deeply agree with much of what he says, the disconnect between his views and the prevailing way schooling is being done is frightening. "Teaching as a Conserving Activity" was written in 1979. The fact is that schools have only made things worse and have reinforced the bad model Postman criticized so trenchantly. I hate to say it, but things seem even more distant now and Postman's ideas even less possible. The ideas Postman champions are not to be found in the education enterprise. Instead, one has to look to movements such as Democratic Free Schools such as Sudbury Valley, the unschooling movment, or other modes of Alternative Education which our society shuns. The grip that the dominant model has on our society's notion of education is lethal; it is killing the souls of young learners.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still relevant. This book is one of the few ... 30 Mar. 2016
By joana - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Still relevant. This book is one of the few that have informed my whole teaching career.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 2 Jan. 2015
By C. H. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of Postman's best. Absolutely love it.
7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Insight 31 July 2007
By Determined Teacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a veteran public high school teacher with National Board Certification. Neil Postman is brilliant. Everyone should read this book.
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