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Capturing a Teachable Moment...for Readers

I don't do a very good job of explaining how and why we school children. Neither do most of America's newspaper, magazine, radio, TV and Internet reporters and opinionators.
I don't do a very good job of explaining how and why we school children. Neither do most of America's newspaper, magazine, radio, TV and Internet reporters and opinionators.

Concern about this journalistic failing led me to New York a couple of weekends ago, where I joined three dozen or so neophyte education reporters from around the country at the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Columbia University's Teachers College. Our mission: to spend three days listening to a couple of dozen education wonks in hopes of getting a grip on what's happening in education and figuring out better ways to interest you in it all.

For me, the challenge begins with the nature of the subject. Education is so stunningly simple that sometimes writing about it seems pointless. And it's such a convoluted subject that I sometimes think "Why bother?" Another problem is that education is a cult. The indoctrinated, particularly the politicians and bureaucrats who have their hands on the cash boxes, often don't mind if outsiders think what they do is too esoteric to understand, let alone explain.

This article, written by Bob Sipchen, appeared in the July 31st, 2006 publication of the Los Angeles Times.


Published Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2006

Capturing a Teachable Moment...for Readers

I don't do a very good job of explaining how and why we school children. Neither do most of America's newspaper, magazine, radio, TV and Internet reporters and opinionators.

Concern about this journalistic failing led me to New York a couple of weekends ago, where I joined three dozen or so neophyte education reporters from around the country at the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Columbia University's Teachers College. Our mission: to spend three days listening to a couple of dozen education wonks in hopes of getting a grip on what's happening in education and figuring out better ways to interest you in it all.

For me, the challenge begins with the nature of the subject. Education is so stunningly simple that sometimes writing about it seems pointless. And it's such a convoluted subject that I sometimes think "Why bother?" Another problem is that education is a cult. The indoctrinated, particularly the politicians and bureaucrats who have their hands on the cash boxes, often don't mind if outsiders think what they do is too esoteric to understand, let alone explain.

This article, written by Bob Sipchen, appeared in the July 31st, 2006 publication of the Los Angeles Times.


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