An Interview with Lisa Hansel: Core Knowledge versus Common Core Curriculum

Michael F. Shaughnessy, Bill Gaedke


Profile: Lisa Hansel is the director of communications for the Core Knowledge Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the idea that every child should learn a core of content that spans language arts and literature, history and geography, mathematics, science, music, and the visual arts. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2013, she was the editor of American Educator, the quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. In that role, she often published articles jointly with E. D. Hirsch Jr., and Daniel T. Willingham that explained why reading comprehension, critical thinking, and problem solving depend on relevant prior knowledge—and why, as a result, all students need a rigorous, coherent, grade-by-grade curriculum that builds broad knowledge. Lisa has a B. S. in Psychology from Washington and Lee University and an Ed. D. in Education Policy from George Washington University, where she was also an adjunct Professor and the writer and editor for the National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform. To learn more about Core Knowledge, please see and She expressed her views regarding the Core Knowledge and Common Core Curriculum.

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