ERIC Number: ED225896
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Oct-15
Reference Count: 0
Rhetoric and Reform: High School Reform in the Post-Conant Period.
High schools in America have been relatively impervious to change during the last few decades despite many reform efforts and reports, which, while proliferating goals and tasks placed on the schools, failed to mobilize a new consensus about education. In 1959 the post-Sputnik Conant Report decried the lag in science education. Federally funded projects were developed to reform the sciences, mathematics, English, and social studies curriculum. Educational foundations and professional associations developed new curricula in which excellence was the goal. These reforms did not live up to expectations, mainly because the subject-centered curriculum failed to address the need for comprehensive reorganization of the total school curriculum. Then, in the late 1960's, as public confidence in education again began to erode, Charles Silberman captured the mood of criticism by typifying schools as intellectually stultifying prisons rather than places of joy and discovery. In the 1970's the national commissions called for breaking down barriers that separated youth from society. The lasting impact of these reforms was also minimal; the structure of U.S. secondary education has not changed. However, there is hope that the current reform reports, including the current Study of the American High School being conducted by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, on which this report is based, will be more effective, because there is a stronger base of educational theory and research to draw upon and there is a more realistic view of the process and limitations of reform. (BY)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Princeton, NJ.
Identifiers: Conant (James Bryant); Silberman (Charles E)
Note: Speech given before the Annual Meeting of the History of Education Society (New York, NY, October 15, 1982).