What's Worth Teaching?

Selecting, Organizing, and Integrating Knowledge

By Marion Brady

Series: SUNY series, The Philosophy of Education
Paperback : 9780887068164, 147 pages, April 1989
Hardcover : 9780887068157, 147 pages, April 1989

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Table of contents


1. Selecting Knowledge
The Problems
The Key to Solutions
A Solution

2. Organizing Knowledge
Patterns of Action
Cultural Premises
Systematic Relationships and Change

3. Integrating Knowledge
Procedural Problems
The Model and Traditional Academic Disciplines
Limitations of the Model

Appendix A. Notes on Teaching
Appendix B. Illustrative Instructional Material


In his daring and ground-breaking work, Brady argues that the most satisfactory way to make the general education curriculum a coherent whole is not by bridging between the parts but by recognizing them as integral, logically-related components of larger entities. These "larger entities" are socio-cultural systems.

When considering what's worth teaching, administrators and faculty typically have faced issues such as these:

For decades we have been in the center of an information explosion. How can we decide what new information to teach, and what old information to exclude to make room for the new?

Vast domains of knowledge lie neglected outside the traditional disciplines and subjects. How can these domains be identified, and their relative importance determined?

Learning theorists insist that learners must make new knowledge part of a logically-integrated conceptual framework. How can educators help students construct these frameworks?

Certain ideas are so powerful they should be introduced early and elaborated year after year. What are these ideas?

Until now questions such as these had no answers. But What's Worth Teaching? does suggest answers. In clear and thoughtfully crafted language, Brady lays a theoretical foundation for a general education curriculum surpassing in comprehensiveness and coherence anything now offered in America's schools and universities.

Marion Brady teaches social science at Brevard Community College. He has extensive experience as an educational writer and consultant.


"The work is original, insightful, extremely well presented, and deals with fundamentally important problems of education. There could not be a more significant or important topic for education or society. " -- Philip L. Smith