“Should there be a national standard for education?” with Michael Apple

Episode 59:

Originally broadcast: September 8, 2013


Education in the United States has changed radically in the last twenty years – standardized tests and the new Common Core goals have changed the way students are taught. At the heart of the debate is a complex philosophical question: should there be national standards for education or should educational goals be determined on the local level? Does the federal government have the best idea of what students should learn, or do local school boards, towns, cities, and counties? Should politicians and policy makers determine standards, or should teachers and parents? On this episode we discuss the Common Core, the purpose and nature of education, necessary educational goals, and Michael Apple’s new book “Can Education Change Society?”

Professor Michael W. Apple is John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He teaches courses in curriculum theory and research and in the sociology of curriculum. His major interests lie in the relationship between culture and power in education. He has many influential publications including the books Ideology and Curriculum, The State and Politics of Education. Educating the “Right” Way: Markets, Standards, God and Inequality, Official Knowledge: Democratic Knowledge in a Conservative Age; Cultural Politics and Education; Education and Power.

Michael Apple was also one of WHY? Radio’s earliest guests. His episode titled “Ideology and Curriculum: 30 Years of A Discussion” can be found here.

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