As SAT verbal scores continue to drop, researchers are saying that the drop in literacy is connected to the test-centered curriculum.
“In the decades before the Great Verbal Decline, a content-rich elementary school experience evolved into a content-light, skills-based, test-centered approach.” writes literary critic E.D. Hirsch in a New York Times opinion piece.
Cognitive psychologists believe a content-rich early childhood experience is critical to later verbal confidence. They refer to this as the Matthew Effect, taken from the Scriptures — “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”
In other words, Hirsch writes, The Matthew Effect in language can be restated this way: “To those who understand the gist shall be given new word meanings, but to those who do not there shall ensue boredom and frustration.”
Hirsch’s examples of what constitutes a substantial learning environment are in line with the in-depth, language-rich environment offered in Waldorf education.
Read the entire article, How to Stop the Drop in Verbal Scores.
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