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American Educator
Winter 1991


Table of Contents

Cognitive Apprenticeship: Making Thinking Visible
By Allan Collins, John Seely Brown, and Ann Holum

Teaching and learning existed long before there was formal schooling. In ancient times, apprenticeship was the vehicle for transmitting the knowledge required for expert practice in fields from cabinet making and tailoring to medicine and law. An important new theory of learning shows how we might adapt some of the features of apprenticeship to the teaching of reading, writing, and math—with some dramatic examples of success.

A Multicultural Curriculum Worthy of Our Multicultural Society

America is a multicultural society. Our children need a multicultural education. What should that education look like? In developing it, what pitfalls must we avoid? This special section looks at both questions.

The Disuniting of America: What We All Stand to Lose If Multicultural Education Takes the Wrong Approach ...
By Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

Our country's many ethnic and racial groups are bound together as one nation by a powerful idea—designated by Gunnar Myrdal as the American Creed. Certain approaches to multicultural education, says the author, will erode commitment to that Creed, to the detriment of us all.

And Ideas about How to Do It Right
By Robert Cottrol

Robert Cottrol leads this section with a statement about the ideas and concerns that would animate a worthy multicultural education one that imparted to students an appreciation for our unique diversity as well as for the ideas that bind us. Then, a look at how the new California history/social science framework has been expanded to include time for both these goals. We also include a comparison between a 1940's textbook and a new one; AFT's resolution on the topic; and a bibliography of additional readings.

An Education Reformer's New Year's Resolution
Ten Lies I'm Going to Resist
By Adam Urbanski

Heard any good lies-passing-as-wisdom lately? Chances are you have. Here's one well-known reformer who vows to tame the beast.

Don't Neglect Nonfiction
By Beverly Kobrin

As someone put it, nonfiction sounds as if it had been in a contest with fiction—and lost. No so, says the author, whose classroom came alive when she filled it with good books about real people, places, and things.

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About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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