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Teaching in America ABSTRACT: The term "instruction" is typically used in the Academy without a transparent sense of what's meant, leading to imprecise and unsuccessful teaching. The standard lines-that teaching is an issue of implementing approved methods, which instruction is mostly a matter of teaching skills-as-means to some profession or whatever-are reflective of failure in the Academy, measured in its "defect rate" of about 30 percent. The definition of teaching that I sketch-skills adopted from a theoretical base, in turn predicated on a critique-is well founded in the scholarly tradition. This type of definition is, however, challenging to a Academy in the end of an ancien régime. It has been clear for a couple decades that something is wrong with the way we teach in this country. The majority of the attention is focused on "the levels", but higher education is no longer exempt from criticism. The alarming reports are quite consistent: Between 27 percent and 35 percent of students entering the school and college system do not complete the program they input. (1) That so many students should be admitted, then lost along the way, is an unacceptable "defect rate". General Interest there's a vast literary corpus on the subject of what's wrong with the teaching system. It ranges from alarming reports in the popular press to practical and philosophical accounts, to what passes for scholarly reportage of study backed by significant private and public grants. The popular media is, per def., popular; it favors the concrete ("readin', writin' 'n' 'rithmetic"). Scholarly reportage is more contradictory, e. g.: One document, in a teachers'-union novel, informs us that two-year-college students entering upper-division research are far more likel...