Amy’s Game: The Concealed Structure of Education :
Amy’s Game is a field manual for parents, teachers, and leaders who want to give our children the education they deserve. The author draws on over 30 years experience and hundreds of studies to expose education’s hidden structure responsible for our schools’ decline. Tactics for reversing that slide are given along with inexpensive, well-researched instructional methods that anyone-parent to professor-can use to improve our children’s education.
Amazon Link. Thanks to Larry Winkler for the link.
2 thoughts on “Book: Amy’s Game: The Concealed Structure of Education”
A better reference to this book is at http://amysgame.com/
I’ve now read this book. It makes good points, and fails in others.
First, the author is Roger Bass, an associate professor at Carthage College, a private Lutheran college in Kenosha. Surprisingly, there is very little information available about this author/professor. I’m in the habit of preparing to read a book by reviewing the author’s preface, and reading what the author says about him/herself, and his/her qualifications — how else does one begin the evaluation of a work? Only a short paragraph on the back cover says he is an education professor and does not mention where, etc. I find that quite strange, given the penchant of authors and publishers cite qualifications to support their books and positions.
The proceeds from this book will going to the care of Amy, a child suffering from autism and Bass’s first student some 30 years ago, who showed promise of a quality life. But because the theories and practices of “Educrats” and “Fadsters” (as he calls them) did not allow use of methods that would have been successful, she, at forty, has been relegated to an institution.
Bass details from professional experience of himself and others, and published literature, the lists of the games which the educational establishment — local, state, university, and Federal — play to maintain power, and monopoly of programs which don’t work, and who continually recycle old non-working fads under new guises, forbidding the many good, well-meaning, and dedicated teachers from being successful in educating students.
The list of Amy’s Games are quite compelling and for those who have been paying attention to the lack of data, lack of quality, and lack of progress (in fact, regression) in education, despite massive amounts of money being poured into the failing system, it is good to see in one place the shell games that are played.
This book has weaknesses, however.
Bass is a B.F. Skinner, programmed learning, and Direct Instruction protagonist (capital D.I., not little d.i.). I must say, this put me off, for he seems as wedded to his theories and practices as the “Educrats” he rightfully criticizes.
Secondly, the content contains too much (justified?) anger and name-calling (“educrats”, “fadsters”), and not enough citations in support of his conclusions. He laments the use of anecdotes instead of research to move education between one fad and another, but he is guilty of the same in supporting his arguments.
In his defense, endnotes are provided in the appendix, which does give (unnumbered) citations to some literature, but references to these endnotes are not peppered throughout the book, which makes it difficult to determine if a given statement he makes or position he takes has been substantiated.
Nonetheless, I would recommended reading the book.
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