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ERIC Number: ED141224
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Oct-15
Pages: 89
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Determinants of Curriculum Change and Stability, 1870-1970.
Cuban, Larry
This paper analyzes the planned and unplanned and external and internal forces that influence curriculum. Three questions guide the analysis of curriculum change in American schools during the 20th century: what forces changed curriculum? what forces maintained stability? which forces are amenable to planned change and are appropriate candidates for federal research funds? A review of literature on classroom environment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries indicates that only marginal changes occurred in teaching. External and internal forces which brought stability to curriculum are identified as socialization, national performance tests, educational legislation, and the conservative nature of teaching. Federal research funds should be spent to provide policymakers with more information to help them distinguish between patterns and transient happenings. Once this information is available, policymakers can determine which areas can best be influenced by funding. Findings indicate that although schools are vulnerable to social change, which leads to curricular changes, these changes affect content and theory more than instruction and classroom environment. Curricular change and stability over the last century are explained by organizational traits of schools as independent units and as members of a larger system, the traditional nature of schooling as a compulsory process, the nature of classroom instruction, and teacher characteristics. Further research is needed to explore reasons why teachers have been and remain the source of both curricular change and stability. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education, Washington, DC. Task Force on Curriculum Development.
Authoring Institution: N/A