This book addresses the evolution of educational beliefs, curriculum, and instructional practices through the last century, with particular attention to the teaching of reading, mathematics, and social studies in the elementary school. Chapter subjects include the role of teachers, students' motivations, measurement, and the linkages between education and society.
What should the civic purposes of education be in a liberal and diverse society? Is there a tension between cultivating citizenship and respecting social diversity? What are the boundaries of parental and state authority over education?
Linking political theory with educational history and policy, Rob Reich offers provocative new answers to these questions. He develops a liberal theory of multicultural education in which the leading goal is the cultivation of individual autonomy in children. Reich draws out the policy implications of his theory through one of the first sustained considerations of homeschooling in American education. He also evaluates three of the most prominent trends in contemporary school reform—vouchers, charter schools, and the small school movement—and provides pedagogical recommendations that sharply challenge the reigning wisdom of many multicultural educators.
Written in clear and accessible language, this book will be of interest to political theorists, philosophers, educators, educational policymakers, and teachers.
The Enigmatic Academy is a provocative look at the purpose and practice of education in America. Authors Christian Churchill and Gerald Levy use three case studies—a liberal arts college, a boarding school, and a Job Corps center—to illustrate how class, bureaucratic, and secular-religious dimensions of education prepare youth for participation in American foreign and domestic policy at all levels.
The authors describe how schools contribute to the formation of a bureaucratic character; how middle and upper class students are trained for leadership positions in corporations, government, and the military; and how the education of lower class students often serves more powerful classes and institutions.
Exploring how youth and their educators encounter the complexities of ideology and bureaucracy in school, The Enigmatic Academy deepens our understanding of the flawed redemptive relationship between education and society in the United States. Paradoxically, these three studied schools all prepare students to participate in a society whose values they oppose.
The third volume in this series deals with such topics as socioeconomic trends, psychological issues, testing and career development theory, mental health and the schools, contemporary observations of guidance practice, and policies and practices in pupil personnel services.
Composed of 18 selected papers delivered at the 1964 Summer Institute for Administrators of Pupil Personnel Services at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, this volume deals with such contemporary educational concerns as changing community values, urban redevelopment, the social structure of the schools, unemployment of disadvantaged youth, pre-kindergarten and work-study programs, and career development theory—especially as these topics bear on the guidance function within education.
A critical, revelatory examination of teachers unions' rise and influence in American politics.
As most American labor organizations struggle for survival and relevance in the twenty-first century, teachers unions appear to be an exception. Despite being all but nonexistent until the 1960s, these unions are maintaining members, assets—and political influence. As the COVID-19 epidemic has illustrated, today’s teachers unions are something greater than mere labor organizations: they are primary influencers of American education policy. How Policies Make Interest Groups examines the rise of these unions to their current place of influence in American politics.
Michael Hartney details how state and local governments adopted a new system of labor relations that subsidized—and in turn, strengthened—the power of teachers unions as interest groups in American politics. In doing so, governments created a force in American politics: an entrenched, subsidized machine for membership recruitment, political fundraising, and electoral mobilization efforts that have informed elections and policymaking ever since. Backed by original quantitative research from across the American educational landscape, Hartney shows how American education policymaking and labor relations have combined to create some of the very voter blocs to which it currently answers. How Policies Make Interest Groups is trenchant, essential reading for anyone seeking to understand why some voices in American politics mean more than others.
Assembles, collates, and analyzes data bearing on trends in American education. The author presents the basic data on school enrollment, retention, and attainment, indicating changes in the educational characteristics of the population and comparable time-series statistics on teachers and school finances reflecting change within the school system itself. Dr. Ferriss then relates these data to a statement of educational goals set some ten years ago, utilizing the data to provide an assessment of progress toward those goals.
The influence of John Dewey's undeniably pervasive ideas on the course of American education during the last half-century has been celebrated in some quarters and decried in others. But Dewey's writings themselves have not often been analyzed in a sustained way. In John Dewey and the Decline of American Education, Hank Edmondson takes up that task. He begins with an account of the startling authority with which Dewey's fundamental principles have been-and continue to be-received within the U.S. educational establishment. Edmondson then shows how revolutionary these principles are in light of the classical and Christian traditions. Finally, he persuasively demonstrates that Dewey has had an insidious effect on American democracy through the baneful impact his core ideas have had in our nation's classrooms. Few people are pleased with the performance of our public schools. Eschewing polemic in favor of understanding, Edmondson's study of the "patron saint" of those schools sheds much-needed light on both the ideas that bear much responsibility for their decline and the alternative principles that could spur their recovery.
What They're Saying...
"Edmondson’s critique of Dewey is useful, clear, and brief. He rightly sees Rousseau’s primitivism as a major influence, and he rightly distinguishes Dewey from Jefferson, whose reputation and lineage Dewey was eager to claim as his own." —M.D. Aeschliman, The National Review
"A distinguished Southern scholar who has written widely on ethics and literature, including on Flannery O'Connor and J.R.R. Tolkien, Edmondson has bravely trekked through the desert wastes of forty volumes of what must be the most muddled prose to ever attain to such demonic power over a culture. Keeping his bearings by the polestars of Plato, Aristotle, Newman, Chesterton, and others who understand genuine education as Edmondson tracks the beast of educationism to its ultimate lair, where lie the scattered bones of countless students devoured by relativism and nihilism." —New Oxford Review
"Edmondson excels in demonstrating that the problem with public education in this country is not just a matter of bad policy (although there is certainly plenty of that going on); it goes much deeper. It is a matter of faulty philosophy...Edmondson lays out many more detailed suggestions, making this book not only informative but also a very capable handbook for moving educational reform in the right direction." —Townhall.com
"John Dewey believed that education was the key to social change. Yet as Henry T. Edmondson effectively shows in his new book, Dewey could not defy the inherent contradiction of his own philosophy, which has left an indelible mark on American education." —Claremont Review of Books
"While all of his suggestions are meritorious, Edmondson's greatest contribution toward school reform is his overall conclusion....One hopes that Edmondson's book, dedicated to teachers, will spark the long road to renewal." —Crisis
"Today, of course, public education has come under severe criticism and no book that I've read better explains the root cause of our national educational dilemma then Henry Edmondson's John Dewey and the Decline of American Education. —Bob Cheeks, IntellectualConservative.com
"Edmondson doesn't draw the conclusion, but one puts this book down with the conviction that unless control of primary and secondary education is wrested from the U.S. educational establishment, corrective measures are not likely to occur." —Jude P. Dougherty, The Catholic University of America
"If the title of Henry T. Edmondson's book leaves any room for doubt as to his views on John Dewey and [his] educational theories, the book's subtitle should make clear Edmondson's belief: Dewey's lasting influence on the U.S. education system has wrought nothing but diminishing returns, if not all-out catastrophic results." —Bruce Edward WalkerMichigan Education Report
"…a bold indictment of one of the fathers of modern educational thought and practise…Edmondson's critique of Dewey is in the vein of conservative scholars such as Allan Bloom and Diane Ravitch, who have voiced similar concerns regarding the loss of tradition in education. It is clear that Edmondson also believes that education can regain prominence only by abandoning Deweyan progressivism and embracing traditional Western values." —Perdue University Press, Education and Culture
Latin and Greek in American Education is a volume of papers edited by Michigan’s Francis W. Kelsey, stemming from the Michigan Classical Conference’s examination of the methods and strategies for teaching Latin and Greek and their relation to public life, and the relationship between Classics and law, theology, politics, and medicine. Included in the volume is “The Case for the Classics” by Paul Shorey, of the University of Chicago.
Moving Lessons is an insightful and sophisticated look at the origins and influence of dance in American universities, focusing on Margaret H'Doubler, who established the first university courses and the first degree program in dance (at the University of Wisconsin). Dance educator and historian Janice Ross shows that H'Doubler (1889–1982) was both emblematic of her time and an innovator who made deep imprints in American culture. An authentic "New Woman," H'Doubler emerged from a sheltered female Victorian world to take action in the public sphere. She changed the way Americans thought, not just about female physicality but also about higher education for women.
Ross brings together many discourses—from dance history, pedagogical theory, women's history, feminist theory, American history, and the history of the body—in intelligent, exciting, and illuminating ways and adds a new chapter to each of them. She shows how H'Doubler, like Isadora Duncan and other modern dancers, helped to raise dance in the eyes of the middle class from its despised status as lower-class entertainment and "dangerous" social interaction to a serious enterprise. Taking a nuanced critical approach to the history of women's bodies and their representations, Moving Lessons fills a very large gap in the history of dance education.
High school turf wars are often a teenage rite of passage, but there are extremes—as when a race riot at a Los Angeles campus in the spring of 2005 resulted in a police lockdown. In her fascinating book,Multicultural Girlhood, Mary Thomas interviewed 26 Latina, Armenian, Filipina, African-American, and Anglo girls at this high school to gauge their responses to the campus violence. They all denounced the outbreak, calling for multicultural understanding and peaceful coexistence.
However, as much as the girls want everyone to just “get along,” they also exhibit strong racist beliefs and validate segregated social spaces on campus and beyond. How can teenagers and “girl power” work together to empower instead of alienate multicultural groups? In her perceptive book, Thomas foregrounds the spaces of teen girlhood and the role that space plays in girls' practices that perpetuate social difference, and she explains the ways we navigate the intellectual terrain between scholarship and school yard.
The idea that American education has been steered by progressive values is celebrated by liberals and deplored by conservatives, but both sides accept it as fact. Adam Laats shows that this widely held belief is simply wrong. Upending the standard narrative of American education as the product of courageous progressive reformers, he calls to center stage the conservative activists who decisively shaped America’s classrooms in the twentieth century. The Other School Reformers makes clear that, in the long march of American public education, progressive reform has more often been a beleaguered dream than an insuperable force.
Laats takes an in-depth look at four landmark school battles: the 1925 Scopes Trial, the 1939 Rugg textbook controversy, the 1950 ouster of Pasadena Public Schools Superintendent Willard Goslin, and the 1974 Kanawha County school boycott. Focused on issues ranging from evolution to the role of religion in education to the correct interpretation of American history, these four highly publicized controversies forced conservatives to articulate their vision of public schooling—a vision that would keep traditional Protestant beliefs in America’s classrooms and push out subversive subjects like Darwinism, socialism, multiculturalism, and feminism. As Laats makes clear in case after case, activists such as Hiram Evans and Norma Gabler, Homer Chaillaux and Louise Padelford were fiercely committed to a view of the curriculum that inculcated love of country, reinforced traditional gender roles and family structures, allowed no alternatives to capitalism, and granted religion a central role in civic life.
Who holds ultimate authority for the education of America's children—teachers or parents? Although the relationship between home and school has changed dramatically over the decades, William Cutler's fascinating history argues that it has always been a political one, and his book uncovers for the first time how and why the balance of power has shifted over time. Starting with parental dominance in the mid-nineteenth century, Cutler chronicles how schools' growing bureaucratization and professionalization allowed educators to gain increasing control over the schooling and lives of the children they taught. Central to his story is the role of parent-teacher associations, which helped transform an adversarial relationship into a collaborative one. Yet parents have also been controlled by educators through PTAs, leading to the perception that they are "company unions."
Cutler shows how in the 1920s and 1930s schools expanded their responsibility for children's well-being outside the classroom. These efforts sowed the seeds for later conflict as schools came to be held accountable for solving society's problems. Finally, he brings the reader into recent decades, in which a breakdown of trust, racial tension, and "parents' rights" have taken the story full circle, with parents and schools once again at odds.
Cutler's book is an invaluable guide to understanding how parent-teacher cooperation, which is essential for our children's educational success, might be achieved.
Grades and grading are an accepted part of modern education. But why? Why do we accept a system that is more focused on ranking students than on learning? Why do we accept the negative effects of standard grading approaches, including turning students off from learning, increasing stress, creating winners and losers, and perpetuating racial and economic inequality? Why do we accept these things when there are better alternatives?
Wad-Ja-Get? is a unique discussion of grading and its effects on students. The book was written by three education professors who have had first-hand contact with the problems of grading in all its forms. Written in the form of a novel, the topic is explored through the eyes of students, teachers, and parents in one high school embroiled in a controversy around grading. Possible alternatives to the grading system are examined in detail and the research on grading is summarized in an appendix. This 50th anniversary edition of the book includes a new introduction by Professor Barry Fishman, updating the research and setting the original book in the context of today’s educational and societal challenges. Wad-Ja-Get? remains timely five decades after its original publication, and will be inspiring to students, parents, educators, and policymakers.