Did Harry Potter Get A Quality Education At Hogwarts?

11/19/2010 02:16 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

As the latest film in the popular "Harry Potter" saga hits theaters, Americans are plunging back into the wizarding world once again.

In "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," Harry is nearing the end of his time at Hogwarts, but what kind of education is he receiving during his school days?

He may have his hands full with everything from Quidditch practice to fending off attacks from He Who Must Not Be Named, but Harry still needs to learn at Hogwarts. After all, Hermoine can't do all his homework for him.

In the post "No Wizard Left Behind," Harvard research fellow Samuel Arbesman argues that Hogwarts is a flop.

Arbesman finds the lack of early education especially alarming:

As near as I can tell, if you grow up in the magical world (as opposed to be Muggle-born, for example), you do not go to school at all until the age of eleven. In fact, it's entirely unclear to me how the children of the wizarding world learn to read and write.

Washington Post blogger Valerie Strauss argues that American public schools could learn from Hogwarts' successful model.

Strauss writes,

The array of Hogwarts courses -- required and elective (below) -- has a creative breadth not seen in many a school here in the No Child Left Behind era, in which curriculum has been so drastically narrowed that a lot of kids don't get much history, science or physical education.

According to Strauss, the variety of classes and the focus on experiential learning are things lacking from many American schools, especially as budget cuts scale back curriculum.


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