Curriculum on the Edge of Survival

How Schools Fail to Prepare Students for Membership in a Democracy

By (author) Daniel Heller

Publication date:

05 November 2007

Length of book:

152 pages


R&L Education

ISBN-13: 9781578866526

Typically, school curriculum has been viewed through the lens of preparation for the workplace or higher education—both worthy objectives. However, this is not the only lens, and perhaps not even the most powerful one to use, if the goal is to optimize the educational system. Curriculum on the Edge of Survival attempts to define basic aspects of the curriculum when viewed through the larger lens of a school as the principal instrument through which we maintain an effective democracy. In that case, the purpose of education is to prepare our students to take their rightful place as active members of a democracy. This purpose is larger than workplace or college readiness, and in fact subsumes them.

Curriculum on the Edge of Survival posits four major starting points for education under the purpose of preparing students for functional membership in a democracy: kindness, thinking, problem solving, and communications. These four foundational elements should be taught in every class, at every level, every day. They form the backbone of a great educational system.
Dan Heller provides a thought provoking commentary on the direction of America's schools. His advocacy for helping learners develop habits of caring, involvement, curiosity and commitment will strike a responsive chord in the hearts and minds of dedicated educators everywhere. Dan's work is a sensitive and centering approach to meeting the needs of our country's children as they move through today's broken educational system.