importance of average

Are schools established to create mediocrity? Are we preparing students to become empowered citizens? Do students find meaning in what they are asked to do? Are average students at risk? This provocative book tackles these critical questions and raises others. It reminds us that, whether intended or not, an entire group of students is being ignored and it highlights the collateral damages caused to average students through legislation, school policies, teacher practices and parenting beliefs. Through cogent discussions of intelligence, motivation, and success in schools, the authors rouse readers to consider a new conception of intelligence and act on behalf of children considered average by our schools. (Julie Rainer Dangel, Ph.D.)

Farenga, Ness, Johnson, and Johnson (all, Dowling College) present a powerful argument on behalf of the ‘average’ learner who is either ignored or overlooked in the US educational system of the late-20th and early-21st century. Deficit (crisis) model educational fix-it programs associated with No Child Left Behind, Gifted and Talented Education, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act focus money and attention on learners who are either at risk of failure or in need of challenge. The reliance upon psychometric bubble testing to determine success or failure of the educational system is taken to task. This book picks up where Stephen Jay Gould’s Mismeasure of Man (CH, Dec’96, 34-2458) leaves off and offers ideas for challenging and enhancing the education of all students (especially the vast majority of “average” learners) in US schools. It offers chapters on the development of core skills in mathematics, science, and the social sciences. The authors conclude by arguing that ‘average’ intelligence is a myth, a social construct that testing creates rather than measures. Recommended. (Choice Choice)

The Importance of Average is a counter-intuitive and compelling analysis of the unintended consequences, for the vast majority of America’s public school students, of such attempts at reform as No Child Left Behind. What Farenga, Ness, Johnson, and Johnson have accomplished with this eye-opening account is of considerable importance and anything but average. (James H. Borland, Ph.D.)

To order, click here: The Importance of Average