Cover image for Chomsky on miseducation
Chomsky on miseducation
Chomsky, Noam.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers , [2000]

Physical Description:
199 pages ; 23 cm.
Personal Subject:
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LB885.C522 A3 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
LB885.C522 A3 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Noam Chomsky's prolific writings have made him one of the most-quoted educators in history--the only living writer on a most-cited list that includes Plato, Shakespeare, and Freud. Yet until now, no book has systematically offered Chomsky's influential writings on education. In Chomsky on MisEducation, Noam Chomsky encourages a larger understanding of our educational needs, starting with the changing role of schools today, and broadening our view of new models of public education. Chomsky weaves global technological change and the primacy of responsible media with the democratic role of schools and higher education. A truly democratic society, he argues, cannot thrive in a rapidly changing world unless our approach to education--formal and otherwise--is dramatically reformed. Chomsky's critique of how our current educational system "miseducates" students--and his prescriptions for change--are essential reading for teachers, parents, school administrators, activists, and anyone concerned about the future.

Author Notes

Noam Chomsky was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 7, 1928. Son of a Russian emigrant who was a Hebrew scholar, Chomsky was exposed at a young age to the study of language and principles of grammar. During the 1940s, he began developing socialist political leanings through his encounters with the New York Jewish intellectual community.

Chomsky received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied linguistics, mathematics, and philosophy. He conducted much of his research at Harvard University. In 1955, he began teaching at MIT, eventually holding the Ferrari P. Ward Chair of Modern Language and Linguistics.

Today Chomsky is highly regarded as both one of America's most prominent linguists and most notorious social critics and political activists. His academic reputation began with the publication of Syntactic Structures in 1957. Within a decade, he became known as an outspoken intellectual opponent of the Vietnam War.

Chomsky has written many books on the links between language, human creativity, and intelligence, including Language and Mind (1967) and Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use (1985). He also has written dozens of political analyses, including Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), Chronicles of Dissent (1992), and The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many (1993).

(Bowker Author Biography) Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the author of more than 80 books. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Although the title of Chomsky's latest work implies a discussion on the "miseducation" of America's students, there is little about education here. The bulk of this bookÄwhich includes a lecture delivered at Loyola University in 1994, a chapter reprinted from a 1989 work by Chomsky, and a lecture delivered at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, in 1997Ärehashes his assertions that U.S. government policies are tied to the interests of the corporate elite. Chomsky, a political dissident as well as a noted linguist, focuses his criticism primarily on America's foreign policies in Central America, claiming that we have condemned the actions of certain factions while condoning similar actions of other factions and have hidden many such things from the American public. The lone exception to this theme is the first chapter, a dialog between Chomsky and Donaldo Macedo, where Chomsky argues that American schools discourage independent thinking and are more interested in controlling students and catering to the wishes of those who have wealth and power. But even here, Chomsky quickly goes off the mark and steers the discussion to American foreign policy. Considering that most of the material is not original and is dated, this is a marginal purchase even for academic libraries.ÄTerry Christner, Hutchinson P.L., KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

It is not clear what Macedo (Univ. of Massachusetts) has in mind in this slender book. Clearly he did not intend to review the educational philosophy of Noam Chomsky, the professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, if such a philosophy exists. Chomsky--the enfant terrible of contemporary politics, has been a persistent critic of American education, but unlike Paulo Freire and other educational critics, he has formulated no systematic criticism of American education. In this somewhat disconnected collection of materials, Macedo provides a long discussion of his (Macedo's) views and appends the following: "Beyond a Domesticating Education: A Dialogue" (between Macedo and Chomsky) (June 1999); "Democracy and Education," a lecture by Chomsky delivered at Loyola University (Chicago) in October, 1994; "The Craft of Historical Engineering," reprinted from Chomsky, Necessary Illusions (1989); "Market Democracy in a Neoliberal Order: Doctrines and Reality," a lecture by Chomsky at the University of Cape Town in May, 1997; and "Unmasking a Pedagogy of Lies: A Debate With John Silber." This last, for which no source is given, records a scintillating and provocative discussion between Chomsky and the president of Boston University. Macedo's book is no credit to himself and certainly no credit to Chomsky, who deserves better. Can be ignored. F. Cordasco emeritus, Montclair State University

Table of Contents

Donaldo Macedo
Introductionp. 1
1 Beyond a Domesticating Education: A Dialoguep. 15
2 Democracy and Educationp. 37
3 The Craft of "Historical Engineering"p. 57
4 Market Democracy in a Neoliberal Order: Doctrines and Realityp. 135
5 Unmasking a Pedagogy of Lies: A Debate with John Silberp. 173
Indexp. 189
About the Author and Editorp. 199