Can Schools Close ‘The Knowledge Gap?’

Author Natalie Wexler makes case for focusing on enriching classroom curriculum during the coronavirus pandemic to improve students’ literacy and understanding
(EWA Radio: Episode 245)

(photo: Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action)

Much attention is focused on how schools will deliver instruction this fall, whether remotely or in schools with COVID-19 health and safety precautions in place. But what students are taught — the curriculum — is also an important story. Natalie Wexler, author of “The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System–and How to Fix It,” shares insights and ideas for education reporters looking for stories on how teachers are adapting lessons to make instruction more effective and engaging, especially for younger students still mastering basic literacy. What does Wexler mean by the “knowledge gap? What are the shortcomings she sees in methods of literacy instruction commonly used in U.S. schools? How are some teachers using remote learning  to offer a more content-rich curriculum? And what are parents saying about what’s working, and what’s falling short, in remote learning?

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