Dear Professor Egan,
I just finished reading your book, The Future of Education, and feel compelled to write to you about how inspiring I find your proposal. Having taught at the university level for about twenty years, having two teenage daughters, and having just finished writing a book about higher education (My Word! Plagiarism and College Culture--forthcoming from Cornell U Press), I think about education much of the time, and found myself in quite a lot of despair about its jumbled aims and frequently dismal results.
The idea of inspiring in children (and adults, of course) a sense of wonder, of play, and of focus strikes me as just right. It would work for privileged as well as challenged kids. The grinding deadliness of test preparation could not possibly make anyone want to stay in school, but becoming an expert on, say, dust, just might make school a place where interesting things happen.
When I have a chance I'm going to get to know your other ideas as well.
Thanks for this playful and hopeful book! Yours,
Associate Professor and Acting Chair (Fall 2008),
Department of Anthropology Fellow,
Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies 614 Flanner Hall
The University of Notre Dame Notre Dame,
Indiana 46556 USA
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