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EPI 0200 Professional Foundations

Pensacola Junior College

Dr. Inga Smith
Adjunct Reading Specialist

Chapter 3
Focus Questions

What Determines Your

Educational Philosophy?
Beliefs About Teaching and Learning
Beliefs About Students
Beliefs About Knowledge
Beliefs About What Is Worth Knowing

Educational Philosophy

Educational philosophy consists of what you believe about education the set
of principles that guides your professional action.

Every teacher, whether he or she recognizes it, has a philosophy of education

a set of beliefs about how human beings learn and grow and what one
should learn in order to live the good life.

Your behavior as a teacher is strongly connected to your personal beliefs and

your beliefs about teaching and learning, students, knowledge, and what is
worth knowing (Figure 3.1).

Beliefs About Teaching & Learning

One of the most important components of your
educational philosophy is how you view teaching and
What is the teachers primary role?
Is the teacher a subject matter expert who can efficiently
and effectively impart knowledge to students?
Is the teacher a helpful adult who establishes caring
relationships with students and nurtures their growth in
needed area?
Is the teacher a skilled technician who can manage the
learning of many students at once?

Beliefs About Students

Your beliefs about students will have a great influence on how you
Negative views of students may promote teacher-student
relationships based on fear and coercion rather than on trust and
Extremely positive views may risk not providing students with
sufficient structure and direction and not communicating sufficiently
high expectations.
In the final analysis, the truly professional teacher the one who
has a carefully thought-out educational philosophy recognizes
that, although children differ in their predispositions to learn and
grow, they all can learn.
All children can learn, they just learn at different times and in
different ways; however, to teach them you must reach them, and to
reach them you must understand them Dr. Inga Smith

Beliefs About Knowledge

How a teacher views knowledge is directly related to how he or she
goes about teaching.
Some teachers view knowledge as the sum total of small bits of
subject matter while some view knowledge more conceptually (big
Teachers differ in their beliefs as to whether students increased
understanding of their own experiences is a legitimate form of
Note: Knowledge of self and ones experiences in the world is not
the same as knowledge about a particular subject matter.

Beliefs About What Is Worth

Teachers have different ideas about what should
be taught.
Through mastering the great ideas from the
sciences, mathematics, literature, and history,
students will be well prepared to deal with the
world of the future.
The curriculum should be meaningful and
contribute to the students efforts to become a
mature, well- integrated person.

What Are the Branches of


Social Reconstructionism

Metaphysics is concerned with explaining, as
rationally and as comprehensively as possible
the nature of reality (in contrast to how reality
What is reality? What is the world made of?
These are metaphysical questions.
Metaphysics is also concerned with the nature of
being and explores questions such as, What
does it mean to exist? What is humankinds
place in the scheme of things?
Metaphysical questions such as theses are at
the very heart of educational philosophy.

Epistemology questions focus on knowledge: What knowledge is
true? How does knowing take place? How do we know that the we
know? How do we decide between opposing views of knowledge?
Is truth constant, or does it change from situation to situation? What
knowledge is of most worth?
Five Ways of Knowing about the world that are of interest to
teachers are:
Knowing Based on Authority
Knowing Based on Divine Revelation
Knowing Based on Empiricism (Experience)
Knowing Based on Reason and Logical Analysis
Knowing Based on Intuition

Axiology highlights the fact that the teacher has an interest not only
in the quantity of knowledge that students acquire but also in the
quality of life that becomes possible because of that knowledge.
Axiological questions include: What values should teachers
encourage students to adopt? What values raise humanity to our
highest expressions of humaneness? What values does a truly
educated person hold?
Ethics focuses on What is good and evil, right and wrong, just and
Aesthetics is concerned with values related to beauty and art.
Students make judgments about the quality of works of art.
Logic is the area of philosophy that deals with the process of
reasoning and identifies rules that will enable the thinker to reach
valid conclusions.

Axiology continued
Socratic Questioning
Perhaps the best-known teacher
to use the inductive approach to
teaching was the Greek
philosopher Socrates (ca. 470399 B.C)
Socratic questioning consists of
holding philosophical
conversations (dialectics) with
pupils and is know today as the
Socratic method.
Figure 3.2 (right) is a guideline
for using Socratic Questioning
techniques in the classroom.

What Are Five Modern

Philosophical Orientations to

Social Reconstructionism

Figure 3.3 shows a brief description of each of

these orientation moving from those that are
teacher- centered to those that are studentcentered

Perennialism viewed truth as constant, or
perennial. The aim of education, according
to perennialist thinking, is to ensure that
students acquire knowledge of
unchanging principles or great ideas.
The curriculum, according to perennialists,
should stress students intellectual growth
in the arts and sciences.

Perennialist Educational Philosophers

Two of the best known advocates of the
perennialist philosophy have been Robert
Maynard Hutchins (1899
- 1977) and, more
recently, Mortimer Adler.

Mortimer Adler
December 28, 1902 - June 28, 2001

Robert Maynard Hutchins

January 17, 1899 May 17, 1977


Essentialism, which has some

similarities to perennialism, is a
conservative philosophy of education
originally formulated as a criticism of
progressive trends in schools by
William C. Bagley (1874-1946).

Essentialists believe that human

culture has a core of common
knowledge that schools are obligated
to transmit to students in a systematic,
disciplined way.

According to essentialist philosophy,

schooling should be practical and
provide children with sound instruction
that prepares them to live life; schools
should not try to influence or set social

When will the public cease to insult the teacher's

calling with empty flattery? When will men who
would never for a moment encourage their own
sons to enter the work of the public schools cease
to tell us that education is the greatest and noblest
of all human callings? -William C. Bagley

Progressivism is based on the belief that
education should be child-centered rather
than focused on the teacher or the content
The writing of John Dewey (1859-1952) in
the 1920s and 1930s contributed a great
deal to the spread of progressive ideas.

Deweyan progressivism is
based on three central

The content of the

curriculum ought to be
derived from students in
interests rather than from
the academic disciplines.


Effective teaching takes into

account the whole child and
his or her interests and
needs in relation to
cognitive, affective, and
psychomotor areas.


Learning is essentially active

rather than passive.

John Dewey
(1859 - 1952)

Progressive Strategies
The progressive philosophy also contended that knowledge that is
true in the present may not be true in the future.
Educators with a progressive orientation give students a
considerable amount of freedom in determining their school
Progressive teachers begin where students are and, through the
daily give-and-take of the classroom, lead students to see that the
subject to be learned can enhance their lives.
In a progressive oriented classroom, the teacher serves as a guide
or resource person whose primary responsibility is to facilitate
student learning.

Existentialism offers the individual a way
of thinking about my life, what has
meaning for me, what is true for me.
Existentialism emphasizes creative
choice, the subjectivity of human
experiences, and concrete acts of human
existence over any rational scheme for
human nature or reality.

Existentialism continued The writings of Jean

- Paul Sartre (1905
- 1980), a
well- known French philosopher, novelist, and
playwright, have been most responsible for the
widespread dissemination of existential ideas.
According to Sartre (1972), every individual first
exists and then he or she must decide what that
existence is to mean.

Jean-Paul Sartre

Existentialism continued Existentialists judge the curriculum according to whether

or not it contributes to the individuals quest for meaning
and results in a level of personal awareness that Greene
(1956b) terms wide-awakeness.
Maxine Greene has been described as the preeminent
American philosopher of education today

Maxine Greene
(1905 - )

Social Reconstructionism

Social reconstructionism holds that schools should take the lead in changing or
reconstructing society.

Theodore Brameld (1904-1987), acknowledged as the founder of social

reconstructionism, based his philosophy on two fundamental premises about
the post-World War II era: (1) We live in a period of great crisis, most evident
in the fact that humans now have the capability of destroying civilization
overnight, and (2) humankind also has the intellectual, technological, and
moral potential to create a world civilization of abundance, health, and
humane capacity (Brameld 1959, 19).

Social Reconstructionism and Progressivism

Social reconstructionism and progressive educational philosophy both provide
opportunities for extensive interactions between teacher and students and
among students themselves. Both place a premium on bringing the
community, if not the entire world, into the classroom.

What Psychological Orientations

Have Influenced Teaching
Humanistic Psychology

Humanistic Psychology
Humanistic psychology emphasizes personal freedom, choice,
awareness, and personal responsibility. It also focuses on the
achievements, motivation, feelings, actions, and needs of human
Humanistic psychology is derived from the philosophy of
humanism, which developed during the European Renaissance
and Protestant Reformation and is based on the belief that
individuals control their own destinies through the application of their
intelligence and learning.
People make themselves.
Secular humanism refers to the closely related belief that the
conditions of human existence relate to human nature and human
actions rather than to predestination or divine interventions.

Humanistic psychology continued

In the 1950s and 1960s, humanistic

psychology became the basis of
educational reforms that sought to
enhance students achievement of their
full potential through self-actualization
(Maslow 1954, 1962; Rogers 1961).

Abraham Maslow
1908 - 1970

Teachers should be what noted

psychologist Carl Rogers calls
facilitators, and the classroom should
be a place in which curiosity and the
natural desire to learn can be nourished
and enhanced.

Carl Rogers
1902 - 1987


Behaviorism is based on the principle that desirable human behavior can be

the product of design rather than accident. According to behaviorist, it is an
illusion to say that humans have a free will.

Founders of Behavioristic Psychology

John B. Watson was the principal originator of behavioristic psychology and B.
F. Skinner its best promoter. Watson first claimed that human behavior
consisted of specific stimuli that resulted in certain responses. In part, he
based this new conception of learning on the classic experiment conducted by
Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov.

John B. Watson
1878 - 1958

B. F. Skinner
1904 - 1990

Ivan Pavlov
1849 - 1936

According to constructivism, students use cognitive
processes to construct understanding of the material to
be learned in contrast to the view that they receive
information transmitted by the teacher.
Constructivist approaches support student-centered
rather than teacher-centered curriculum and instruction.
The student is the key to learning.
Our understanding of learning has been extended as a
result of advances in cognitive science- the study of the
mental processes students use in thinking and


How Can You Develop Your

Educational Philosophy?

Dont feel that you need to identify a single educational philosophy around
which you will build your teaching career. In reality, few teachers follow only
one educational philosophy.

Most teachers develop an eclectic philosophy of education, which means they

develop their own unique blending of two or more philosophies.

Figure 3.4 shows educational philosophy is only one determinant of the

professional goals a teacher sets.

What Were Teaching and School

Like in the American Colonies
Colonial Schools
The Origins of Mandated Education
Education for African Americans and
Native Americans

Colonial Schools

In the New England colonies (Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, and

Connecticut), there was a genera consensus that church, state, and schools
were interrelated.

The Puritans view of the child included the belief that people are inherently
sinful. Even natural childhood play was seen as devil-inspired idleness.

The middle colonies (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware)
were more diverse, and groups such as the Irish, Scots, Swedes, Danes,
Dutch, and Germans established Parochial schools based on their religious

In the largely protestant southern colonies (Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, and

North and South Carolina), wealthy plantation owners believed the primary
purpose of education was to promote religion and to prepare their children to
attend colleges and universities in Europe.

The vast majority of small farmers received no formal schooling and the
children of African slaves received only the training they needed to serve their


Colonial Schools continued

The most common types were dame schools, the reading and wring schools
and Latin grammar schools.

Dame schools provided initial instruction for boys and, often the only
schooling for girls. These schools were run by widows or housewives in their
homes and paid for by modest fees from parents. Children were taught the
essentials of reading and writing and arithmetic. Girls were taught sewing and
basic homemaking skills.

Reading and writing schools offered boys an education that went beyond
what their parents could teach them at home or what they could learn at a
dame school. Reading lessons were based on the Bible, various religious
catechisms, and the New England Primer, first printed in 1690.

Latin grammar schools was patterned after the classical schools of Europe.
Boys enrolled in the Latin grammar schools at the age of seven or eight,
whereupon they began to prepare to enter Harvard College (established in

The Origins of Mandated Education

Universal compulsory education had its origins in the Massachusetts Act of


The Puritans decided to make education a civil responsibility of the state. The
Massachusetts General Court passed a law in 1642 that required each town to
determine whether young people could read and write. Parents and
apprentices masters whose children were unable to read and understand the
principles of religion and the capital laws of the country (Rippa 1997, 36)
could be fined and, possibly, lose custody of their children.

In 1648, the Court revised the 1642 law, reminding town leaders that the good
education of children is of singular behoof and benefit to any commonwealth
and that some parents and masters were still too indulgent and negligent of
their duty (Cohen 1974, 394-395).

The Massachusetts Act of 1647, often referred to as the Old Deluder Satan
Act, mandated the establishment and support of schools. In particular, towns
of fifty households or more were to appoint a person to instruct all such
children as shall resort to him to write and read. Teachers were to be paid
either by the parents or masters of such children.

Education for African Americans

and Native American

One of the first schools for African Americans was started by Elias Neau in New York
City in 1704. Sponsored by the Church of England, Neaus school taught African and
Native Americans how to read as part of the Churchs efforts to convert students.

Other schools for African and Native Americans were started by the Quakers, who
regarded slavery as a moral evil. These schools existed as early as 1700.

One of the best known schools was founded in Philadelphia in 1880 by Anthony
Benezet, who believed that African Americans were generously sensible, humane,
and sociable, and that their capacity is as good, and as capable of improvement as
that of white people

From the seventeenth to the late-twentieth centuries, schools were segregated by


The first recorded official ground for school segregation dates back to a decision of
the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 1850 when the Roberts family sought to send
their daughter Sarah to a white school in Boston. The court ruled that equal, but
separate schools were being provided and that the Roberts therefore could not claim
an injustice (Roberts v. City of Boston 1850)


What Were the Goals of Education

During the Revolutionary Period

Benjamin Franklins Academy

Sarah Pierces Female Academy
Thomas Jefferson Philosophy
Noah Websters

Benjamin Franklins Academy

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) designed and promoted the Philadelphia

Academy, a private secondary school, which opened in 1751. This school,
which replaced the old Latin grammar school, had a curriculum that was
broader and more practical and also focused on the English language rant
than Latin.

In his Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania, written in

1749, Franklin noted that the good Education of youth has been esteemed by
wise men in all ages, as the surest foundation of the happiness both of private
families and of commonwealths (Franklin 1931, 151).

Franklins proposals for educating youth called for a wide range of subjects
that reflected perennialist and essentialist philosophical orientations: English
grammar, composition, and literature; classical and modern foreign languages;
science; writing and drawing; rhetoric and oratory; geography; various kinds of
history; agriculture and gardening; arithmetic and accounting; and mechanics.

Sarah Pierces Female Academy

Sarah Pierces Litchfield Female Academy started in Litchfield, Connecticut.

Pierce (1767-1852) began her academy in the dining room of her home with
two students; eventually, the academy grew to 140 female students from
nearly every state and from Canada.

Girls received little formal education in the seventeenth and eighteenth

centuries and were educated for entirely different purposes than were boys.

Some women enrolled in female seminaries, first established in the early

nineteenth century to train women for higher education and public service
outside of the home.

Educational opportunities for women expanded in conjunction with social

reform movements that gradually led to greater
political equality for women, including the right
to vote in the twentieth century.


Thomas Jeffersons Philosophy

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, author of the Declaration of Independence,

viewed the education of common people as the most effective means of
preserving liberty.

For a society to remain free, Jefferson felt, it must support a continuous

system of public education. He proposed to the Virginia legislature in 1779 his
Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge. The plan called for statecontrolled elementary schools that would teach, with no cost to parents, three
years of reading, writing, and arithmetic to all white children.

Jefferson was unsuccessful in his attempt to convince the Virginia House of

Burgesses of the need for a uniform system of public schools as outlined in his

Jefferson was able to implement many of his

educational ideas through his efforts to found
the University of Virginia.

Noah Websters Speller

Among the most widely circulated books of this type (patriotic and
moralistic) were Noah Websters Elementary Spelling Book and The
American Dictionary.
Webster (1758-1843) first introduced his speller in 1783 under the
cumbersome title, A Grammatical Institute of the English Language.
Later versions were titled the American Spelling Book and the
Elementary Spelling Book.
Websters speller earned the nickname the old blue-back because
early copies of the book were covered in light blue paper and later
editions covered with bright blue paper.
In the introduction of his speller, Webster declared that its purpose
was to help teachers instill in students the first rudiments of the
language, some just ideas of religion, moral and domestic economy

How Was the Struggle Won for

State-Supported Common Schools
Horace Manns Contributions
Reverend W. H. McGuffeys Readers
Justin Morrills Land-Grant Schools


Horace Manns Contributions

The first state
- supported high school in the
United States was the Boston English Classical
School, established in 1821. The opening of this
school, renamed English High School in 1824,
marked the beginning of a long, slow struggle for
- supported common schools in this
The most eloquent and effective spokesperson
for the common school was Horace Mann.

Horace Manns Contributions continued Horace Mann (1796-1859) was a lawyer, Massachusetts senator,
and the first secretary of a state board of education. Horace was the
champion of the common school movement and worked tirelessly to
convince people that their interest would be well served by a system
of universal free schools for all.
Improving Schools
Mann submitted twelve annual reports, the Common School
Journal, the Fifth Report and the Seventh Report all in the support of
improving common schools.
The Normal School
During the late 1830s, Mann put forth a proposal that required
teachers to be trained beyond high school and be trained in
professional programs.
The first public normal school in the United Stated opened in
Lexington, Massachusetts, on July 3, 1839. The curriculum
consisted of general knowledge courses plus courses in pedagogy
(or teaching) and practice teaching in a model school affiliated with
the normal school.

Reverend W. H. McGuffeys
Reverend William Holmes McGuffey (1800-1873) had
perhaps the greatest impact on what children learned in
the new school. Far exceeding Noah Websters speller in
sales were the famous McGuffey readers.
It has been estimated that 122 million copies of the sixvolume series were sold after 1836.
The six readers ranged in difficulty from the first-grade
level to the sixth-grade level.
Through such stories as The Wolf, Meddlesome
Matty, and A Kind Brother, the reader emphasized
virtues such as hard work, honesty, truth, charity, and


Justin Morrills Land-Grant Schools

In 1862, the Morrill Land-Grant Act, sponsored by
Congressman Justin S. Morrill (1810-1898) of Vermont,
provided federal land for states either to sell or to rent in
order to raise funds for the establishment of colleges of
agriculture and mechanical arts.
Each state was given a land subsidy of 30,000 acres for
each representative and senator in its congressional
The Morrill Act of 1862 set a precedent for the federal
government to take an active role in shaping higher
education in the United States.
A second Morrill Act in 1890 provided even more federal
funds for land-grant colleges.

How Did Compulsory Education

Change Schools and the Teaching
Profession (1865-1920)?
Higher Education for African Americans
The Kindergarten
The Professionalization of Teaching

Higher Education for African


Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) had a steadfast

belief that education could improve the lives of African
Americans just as it had for white people. He attended
one of the countrys first institution of higher education
for African Americans (Hampton Normal and
Agricultural Institute of Virginia). After graduation, he
later returned to Hampton to be the schools first
African American Instructor. Washington helped to
found the Tuskegee Institute, an industrial school for
African Americans in rural Alabama.

William E. Burghardt DuBois (1868-1963) did not

agree with Washingtons philosophy and goals. He
was the first African American to be awarded a Ph.D.
and was one of the founders of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored people
(NAACP). W.E.B. DuBois criticized educational
programs that seemed to imply that African
Americans should accept inferior status and
development manual skills. DuBois called for the
education of the most talented tenth of the African
American population to equip them for leadership
positions in society as a whole.


The Kindergarten

Patterned after the progressive, humanistic theories of the German educator

Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852), the kindergarten, or garden where children
grow, stressed the motor development and self-activity of children before they
began formal schooling at the elementary level.

Margarethe Schurz (1832-1916), a student of Froebel, opened the first U.S.

kindergarten in her home at Watertown, Wisconsin, in 1855.

In 1860, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (1804-1891), sister-in-law of Horace Mann

and the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, opened the first private Englishspeaking kindergarten in this country in Boston.

Susan Blow (1843-1916) established what is commonly recognized as the first

succe3ssful public kindergarten in the United States.

The U.S. Bureau of Education recorded a total of twelve kindergartens in the

country in 1873, with seventy-two teachers and 1,252 students. By 1997,
enrollments had mushroomed to 2,847,000 in public kindergartens and
575,000 in private kindergartens (National Center for Education Statistics
1999, 61).

The Professionalization of

During the later 1800s, professional teacher organizations began to have a

great influence on the development of schools in America. The national
Education Association (NEA), founded in 1857, and the American Federation
of Teachers (AFT), founded in 1916, labored diligently to professionalize
teaching and to increase teachers salaries and benefits.

Women such as Ella Flagg Young (1845-1918), superintendent of Chicago

schools from 1909 to 1915, and Catherine Goggin and Margaret Haley,
leaders of the Chicago schools Teachers Federation, played important roles in
the governance of Chicago schools.

Jane Addams (1860-1935), founded Hull House, a social and educational

center for poor immigrants. Addams drew from her training as a social worker
and developed a philosophy of socialized education that linked schools with
other social service agencies and institutions in the city.

What Were the Aims of Education

during the Progressive Era
John Deweys Laboratory School
Maria Montessoris Method
Education of Immigrants and Minorities


John Deweys Laboratory School

Progressive educational theories were synthesized most effectively
and eloquently by John Dewey (1859-1952).
From 1894 to 1904, Dewey served as head of the department of
philosophy, psychology, and pedagogy at the University of Chicago.
While at the University of Chicago, Dewey and his wife, Alice,
established a laboratory School for testing progressive principles in
the classroom.The school opened in 1896 with two instructors and
sixteen students and by 1902 had grown to 140 students with twentythree teachers and ten university graduate students as assistants.
The children, four to fourteen years old, learned traditional subjects by
working cooperatively in small groups of eight to ten on projects such
as cooking, weaving, carpentry, sewing, and metalwork (Rippa 1997).

Maria Montessoris Method

Maria Montessori (1870-1952), an Italian physician who was
influenced by Rousseau and believed that childrens mental,
physical, and spiritual development could be enhanced by
providing them with developmentally appropriate educational
According to the Montessori method, prescribed sets of
materials and physical exercises are used to develop students
knowledge and skills, and students are allowed to use or not
use the materials as they see fit. The materials arouse students
interest, and the interest motivates them to learn.
By 1915, almost one hundred Montessori schools were
operating in the United States; however, today Montessorian
materials and activities are a standard part of the early
childhood and elementary curricula in public schools throughout
the nation.

Education of Immigrants and

As with Native American Education, the goal of immigrant education
was rapid assimilation into an English-speaking Anglo-European
society that did not welcome racially or ethnically different newcomers.
Also at stake was the preservation or loss of tradition culture. In some
area, school policies included the punishment of Cuban and Puerto
Rican children, for example, for speaking Spanish in school, and
children learned to mock their unassimilated parents. In other areas,
efforts were made to exclude certain groups, such as Asians, and
ethnic enclaves established separate schools for the purpose of
preserving, for example, traditional Chinese culture.


Education of Immigrants and Minorities continued In 1928, a landmark report titled The Problem of Indian
Administration recommended that Native American education be
restructured. Recommendations were the building of day schools in
Native American communities, school curricula be revised to reflect
tribal cultures, and the needs of local tribal communities.
Another fifty years passed before the recommendations began to be

How Did Education Change During

the Modern Postwar Era
The 1950s: Defense Education and School
The 1960s: The War on Poverty and the Great Society
The 1970s: Accountability and Equal Opportunity
The 1980s: A Great Debate
The 1990s: Teacher Leadership
The New Century: Continuing the Quest for Excellence

The 1950s: Defense Education and

School Desegregation
Teachers and education were put in the spotlight in 1957 when the
Soviet Union launched the first satellite, names Sputnik, into space.
Stunned U.S. Leaders immediately blamed the space lag on
inadequacies in the education system.
The Soviet Union was first into space, they maintained, because the
progressive educational philosophy had undermined academic rigor.
It was believed to have been because the United States were taught
less science, mathematics, and foreign language than their
European counterparts.

Through provisions of the National Defense Education Act of

1958, the U.S. Office of Education sponsored research and
innovation in science, mathematics, modern foreign languages, and


The 1950s: Defense Education and School

Desegregation continued The end of World War II also saw the beginning of
school desegregation. On May 17, 1954, the U.S.
Supreme Court rejected the separate but equal
doctrine that had been used since 1850 as a justification
for excluding African Americans from attending school
with whites.
In response to a suit filed by the NAACP on behalf of a
Kansas family, Chief Justice Earl Warren declared that to
segregate school children from others of similar age and
qualifications solely because of their race generates a
feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community
that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely
ever to be undone (Brown v. Board of Education of
Topeka 1954).

The 1960s: The War on Poverty

and the Great Society
The 1960s, hallmarked by the Kennedy administrations spirit of
action and high hopes, provided a climate that supported change.
Classrooms were often placed of pedagogical experimentation and
creativity reminiscent of the progressive era.
The open-education movement, team teaching, individualized
instruction, the integrated-day concept, flexible scheduling, and
nongraded schools were some of the innovations that teachers were
asked to implement.
The image of teachers in the 1960s was enhanced by the
publication of several books by educators who were influenced by
the progressivist educational philosophy and humanistic

The 1960s: The War on Poverty and the Great Society continued The administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson funneled
massive amounts of money into a War on Poverty. Education was
seen as the key to breaking the transmission of poverty from
generation to generation.
The War on Poverty developed methods, materials, and programs
such as subsidized breakfast and lunch programs, Head Start,
Upward Bound, and the Job Corps that would be appropriated to
children who had been disadvantaged due to poverty.
The education of low income children received a boost in April 1965
when Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act.
In 1968, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was
amended with Title VII, the Bilingual Education Act. This act
provided federal aid to low-income children of limited Englishspeaking ability.


The 1970s: Accountability and

Equal Opportunity
The 1970s was a mixed decade for U.S. education, marked by
drops in enrollment, test scores, and public confidence, as well as
progressive policy changes that promoted a more equal education
for all in the United States. Calls for back to basics and teacher
accountability drives initiated by parents, citizens groups, and
politicians who were unhappy with the low academic performance
Many parents responded to the crisis by becoming education
activists, seeking or establishing alternative schools, or joining the
home education movement led by John Holt.
Those who kept their children in the public schools demanded
teacher accountability, which limited teachers instructional
flexibility and extended their evaluation paperwork.

The 1970s: Accountability and Equal Opportunity continued During the late 1960s and early 1970s increasing numbers of young
people questioned what the schools were teaching and how they
were teaching it.
In the 1970s, federal acts were passed to bring about success and
encouragement: Title IX Education Amendment prohibiting sex
discrimination (1972), Indian Education Act (1972), Education for All
Handicapped Children Act (1975), and the Indochina Migration and
Refugee Assistance Act (1975).
The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94142), passed by Congress in 1975, extended greater educational
opportunities to children with disabilities.
This act (often referred to as the mainstreaming law) specifies
extensive due process procedures to guarantee that children with
special needs will receive a free, appropriate education in the least
restrictive educational environment.

The 1980s: A Great Debate

The first half of the 1980s saw a continuation, perhaps even an
escalation, of the criticisms aimed at the schools during the two
previous decades.
With the publication in 1983 of the report by the National
Commission on Excellence in Education, A Nation at Risk: The
Imperative for Educational Reform, a great national debate was
begun on how to improve the quality of schools.
High Schools started strengthening the academic core curriculum
Middle schools started creating smaller learning communities,
eliminating tracking, and developing new ways to enhance student


The 1990s:Teacher Leadership

The push to reform schools begun in the 1980s
continued throughout the 1990s and teaching was
transformed in dramatic ways.
Teachers went beyond the classroom and assumed
leadership roles in school restructuring and educational
Through collaborative relationships with students,
principals, parents, and the private sector, teachers
changed the nature of their profession.

The New Century: Continuing the

Quest for Excellence
The United States has set for itself an education mission
of truly ambitious proportions.
In little more than 380 years, our education system has
grown form one that provided only a minimal education
to an advantaged minority to one that now provides
maximal educational opportunity to the majority.
Clearly, the beginning of the new century provides ample
evidence that our nation will not waver from its longstanding commitment to ensuring that all children have
equal access to educational excellence.

3 Things I Learned
2 Things I Enjoyed
1 Thing I Still Have a Question