Hirsch has the right idea about education. Without world knowledge, or cultural literacy as he refers to it, a person cannot develop adequate reading or writing skills. There is concrete evidence from the observations of reading specialists that support this claim: "Professor....Chall." (1.3) The effects of a lack of cultural literacy are already evident in today's world. Hirsch talks about how people today cannot communicate well. They struggle with conveying their ideas and thoughts both on paper and through spoken words: "In...writing." (2.5) It's a serious problem that is becoming a nuisance for employers who need people with adequate communication skills.
Previously in your argument you stated, “Without world knowledge, or cultural literacy as he refers to it, a person cannot develop adequate reading or writing skills”, and while reading and writing skills are extremely vital to our society ,focusing solely on cultural literacy as Hirsch seems to be suggesting is not beneficial. There are a variety of subjects that need to be explored and students need to be allowed to think critically, but Hirsch refers to this as “Cafeteria Style Education” which he believes “has resulted in a steady diminishment of commonly shared information between generations and between young people themselves” (Hirsch, 8.1). Everyone does not and should not know all the exact same information; diversity is part of our society otherwise it becomes oppressive. Freire believes that education can be oppressive because of the banking concept of education, “Instead of communicating…storing the deposits” ( Freire, 1.5). No critical thinking or even questions are needed in this form of education which causes a lack of communication which Hirsch talks about so highly
You previously stated, "Everyone does not and should not know all the exact same information." Hirsch's idea of cultural literacy does not ask for everyone to memorize insignificant details. He believes that knowing just enough to understand what we're talking about is enough: "Putnam....traits." (6.4) In addition, a shared general knowledge can be applied to our everyday lives. Depositing information can be useful if used such information is used properly. Hirsch shares an anecdote told by his father concerning the usefulness of a shared cultural literacy: "To....effectively." (3.5) Thanks to a general shared knowledge about Shakespeare, Hirsch's father was able to get his message across without being superfluous with his words. When a person is able to do this they're able to keep the attention of the person they're addressing. Using more words than necessary can bore them, which isn't helpful in business. Less truly is more, especially when trying to be persuasive.
The anecdote of his father is a thing of the past, you are stating that Shakespeare is “general shared knowledge” which I do not believe is true today. And while using fewer words is helpful as well, when they are coded messages what is the point? To make an appearance that you are more intelligent than you really are. Freire believes that in our education system, “the students are not called upon to know, but to memorize the contents narrated by the teacher….we have a system which achieves neither true knowledge nor true culture” (Freire, 5.2). As we move away from this education system of focusing on memorization we can view the world we live in as changing and as a place that we can shape; “men develop…in transformation” (6.5). With Hirsch’s cultural literacy we are just reviewing and regurgitating information that someone already said and used, quoting instead of being inventive.
In your last argument you stated, "As we move away from this education system of focusing on memorization we can view the world we live in as changing and as a place that we can shape." People can do just that with cultural literacy. It enables people to understand what is going on around them, which then encourages them to take part in society and bring about the change they want to see in the world: "No....masters." (5.2) If people share a general knowledge then no one would feel intimidated about taking part in society since they would know what's going on around them. To go back to your point about oppression, I want to mention something Hirsch said on page eight: "Although....region." (8.4) He explained how the last thing cultural literacy does is discriminate, which is a way of oppressing an individual or a group. It does the complete opposite, as stated above, which proves it to be useful in society.
Just because someone is literate it does not grant them equality in the world. In our philosophy class alone we have read multiple people, i.e Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Brooker T. Washington, who have all been extremely well versed in literacy but were being oppressed. Hirsch believes that race and class do not matter, “Getting one's membership cart is not tied to class or race…speak effectively.” (9.1), but this has been proven time and again that race, class, gender all matter. Speaking effectively only does someone good when they put themselves into reality and take a look around themselves instead of imitating others.
Education shapes people into what they become. It is the arguably the most important thing in a society. Hitler used education to form his Nazi Youth which followed him no matter what because they were taught this in schools. Whatever our schools are teaching effects the youth and the future of our world. So rather than deposit the same information into their heads, let them be unique. We need to let them explore and critically think; “Based…creative power “ (Freire, 4.1)