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Relfection On "The Theory Behind The Dictionary: Cultural Literacy And Education" By Hirsch

687 words - 3 pages

In the reading, "The Theory behind the Dictionary: Cultural Literacy and Education," they had some great reasoning for their ideas. I liked the author’s whole explanation of someone may know how to read, but until they fully understand the whole background of what they are reading, they are not getting anything from the reading. The reader and the author are not "communicating." They also explain why reading ability measured in how well a person can understand diverse kinds of writing on numerous subjects. I feel that they could not be any more correct. How is someone supposed to learn if they only know a lot of, let us say, a couple subjects. They are not going to learn as much unless they ...view middle of the document...

Apparently, meager teacher's salaries, budget cuts in public schooling, drugs, and escalating dropout rates are merely secondary causes of this decline. Hirsch maintains that reading skills are limited to topics the reader has encountered, so specific information drilled into students' heads. He uses the example of standardized reading comprehension tests: "If a young boy knows a lot about snakes but very little about lakes, he will make a good score on a passage about snakes, but a less good score on a passage about lakes…Etc.” From an examination of research on reading and memory, Hirsch concludes that the use of prototypes or schemata is crucial to comprehension and retention of what has read. He finds supporting data in research from the fields of cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence. Scholarly findings thus confirm what some say common sense suggests that young people enjoy memorization, whether it deals with baseball statistics, popular music, or history.
Everyone shares cultural literacy, unlike expert knowledge. It is that shifting body of information that our culture has found useful, and therefore worth...

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