The History of Education
The progressive movement profoundly influenced
education in the United States from the end of World War I to the end of World
- broadened the school program to include health concerns,
family and community life issues
- a concern for vocational education
- applied new research in psychology and the social sciences to
- emphasized a more democratic educational approach, accepting
the interests and needs of an increasingly diverse student body
- child's interest and practical needs should determine the
focus of schooling
- teachers functioned as guides rather than taskmasters
John Dewey (1859-1952) was closely associated with
the progressive movement. He graduated from the University of Vermont when he
was twenty. He earned a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University. He served as head
of the departments of philosophy, psychology, and pedagogy at the University of
Chicago from 1894-1904. He was a professor of philosophy at Columbia University
from 1904-1930. Many of his writings such as The School and Society (1900), and The Child and the Curriculum (1902), had a strong impact
on U.S. schools. Dewey and his wife Alice established his famous Laboratory
School for testing progressive principles in the classroom in 1896, at the
University of Chicago. In the 1920's and 1930's the progressive movement became
widely known, and soon spread to suburban and city public schools across the
The progressive movement was also criticized. Some
viewed it as atheistic, un-American, as students were allowed to explore and
question, and traditional values were not being taught. Some people even felt
that the progressive movement was not academically sound....
In 1957 the Soviet Union launched the
first satellite, named Sputnik. U.S. leaders proclaimed that the progressive
educational philosophy was inadequate, and as a result our children lagged
behind the world in both science and mathematics. The federal government felt
that educational reform was necessary and as a result the National Defense
Education Act (NDEA)of 1958 was created. This act funded:
- teacher training programs
- curriculum development
- loans and scholarships for college students
that allowed them to major in subjects important to national defense
- sponsored research in science and math (out of
this came new math and science programs)
- schools were given funds for new
Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka
- The NAACP (National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People) filed a suit on behalf of a Kansas family.
- The United States Supreme Court rejected the
"separate but equal" doctrine that had been used since 1850, as justification
of keeping African Americans from attending white schools.
- The beginning of desegregation
- Desegregation did not happen right away
- desegregation continues
- racial conflict (as both black and white
students encounter the reality of racism)
- Kennedy administration (administration's spirit
of high hopes)
- classrooms were places of pedagogical
- team teaching
- flexible scheduling
Both the Kennedy and Johnson administration poured
massive amounts of money into a War on Poverty.
- Breakfast and lunch programs were
- Head Start
- Job Corps (appropriate to disadvantage poor
- The Elementary and Secondary Education Act
(allocated funds to schools on the basis of the number of poor
- drop in enrollment
- low test scores
- calls for "back to the basics" by
- height of the Vietnam conflict
- financial difficulties confronted
- lack of support from taxpayers
- demand for teacher accountability
- steady rise in school crime, drugs, and
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act (1975)
"no person in the United States shall, on the
basis of sex, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or
be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving
Federal financial assistance."
The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (
referred to as the mainstreaming law) guarantees that children with
special needs will receive a free appropriate education.
- 1983 publication A Nation at Risk (declared US education a failure)
- a great national debate
- proposals for curriculum reform
- small learning communities
- develop ways to enhance student
Teachers took leadership roles in:
- school restructuring
- school governance
- curriculum change
Progressive movement-a movement during the 1920s and 1930s to create
schools that emphasized democracy, children's interests and needs, and closer
connections between schools and community.
National Defense Education Act-a 1958 federally sponsored program to
promote research and innovation in science, mathematics, modern foreign
languages and guidance.
Desegregation- the process of eliminating schooling practices based on
the separation of racial groups.
Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka-a 1954 landmark court case
rejecting the "separate but equal" doctrine used to prevent African Americans
from attending schools with whites.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act-part of President Lyndon B.
Johnson's Great Society Program, this act allocated federal funds on the basis
of the number of poor children in school districts.
Back to Basics- a movement begun in the mid-1970s to establish the
"basic skills" of reading, writing, speaking, and computation as the core of the
Accountability-the practice of holding teachers responsible for
adhering to high professional and moral standards and creating effective
learning environments for all students.
Title IX- a provision of the 1972 Education Amendments Act prohibiting
sex discrimination in educational programs.
Education for all handicapped Children Act-a 1975 federal act that
guarantees a free and appropriate education to all handicap children.
Mainstreaming-the policy and process of intergrating disabled or
otherwise emotional learners into regular classrooms with nonexceptional
Activity 2.7 (please label your assignment
Have Attitudes Toward Teaching Changed?
This survey was given to 500 seniors in 1934! First
estimate the percentage of students in 1934 who agreed with each item, and then
indicate with an"x" whether you agree or disagree with the statement. (for
correct percentages, see Ms. Brady)
1. It requires as much ability to be a worthwhile teacher as it does to
be a worthwhile lawyer or physician.
2. Generally speaking, I like teachers and I am grateful for what they
have done for me.
3. I think the teaching profession is the most undesirable of all
4. After all, teachers are only human and they deserve much credit for
the work they are doing.
5.I think the teaching profession is a very good one to enter even
though I am not particularly interested in it.
6. The personnel of the teaching profession is gradually improving.
7. I believe school teachers are a hundred years behind the times and
they cannot make the schools what they should be today.
8. Teaching is as good a profession as any other.
9. I would not choose teaching as my life's work because I think the
salaries are not commensurate with the education required.
10. There is little chance of advancement in the teaching
Answer the following questions
1. What differences do you note?
2. Which survey items address issues that are still important
2.7 Activity 2
1. Are students today affected by racism? How?