Each month, Beyond The Page: A WGBH Book Clubfeatures a notable author, who takes part in a live Q&A with a WGBH personality to discuss the intricacies of that month's novel. With each monthly book selection, we also ask the author for a list of reading recommendations. For its October edition, Beyond The Page selected E.D. Hirsch’s How To Educate A Citizen: The Power of Shared Knowledge to Unify a Nation, a powerful manifesto that addresses the failures of America’s early education system and its impact on our current national malaise, advocating for a shared knowledge curriculum students everywhere can be taught — an educational foundation that can help improve and strengthen America’s unity, identity and democracy.

Here are five additional reading suggestions from E.D. Hirsch:

The Disuniting of America by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
"A distinguished historian-sociologist sounded the warning, says Hirsch. "The knowledge gap is a unity gap."

For "the importance of shared prior knowledge in comprehension and learning," pick up these two books, says Hirsch.
How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School (expanded edition) from the National Research Council
How People Learn II: Learners, Contexts, and Cultures from the National Research Council

Why Don't Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom by Daniel T. Willingham
"The most accessible general account of various strands of psychology, explaining why lack of prior shared knowledge makes school so disagreeable to children and everyone else," says Hirsch.

The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America's Broken Education System — And How to Fix It by Natalie Wexler
Hirsch: "A well written account of the effects of the shared knowledge gap in actual schools."

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