E.D. Hirsch has become something of a figure of controversy in education after being quoted by Michael Gove in support for his curriculum reforms. A number of ‘Hirsch schools’ have opened in the US and there is increasing interest in his ideas in the UK. His ideas about giving working class children access to the ‘cultural capital’ that allows them to participate in society have been attacked as being ‘right wing’, though Hirsch actually claims to come from a left-leaning political philosophy.
Here’s an interesting article (from the AFT) where Hirsch argues that the ability of students to capitalise on the wealth of information available on the internet requires considerable domain knowledge as a starting point:
It’s an interesting counter-argument to the claim that, in the age of the internet, education should focus primarily on ‘skills’ and there is little value in children learning subject specific ‘knowledge’.