ERIC Number: ED209136
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
Basic Education: A Historical Perspective. Fastbook 167.
Gutek, Gerald L.
This publication clarifies the basic education movement by placing it in a historical and philosophical context. In many ways, the basic education movement of the 1970s is part of a continuum of similar movements in American education that have occurred with almost clocklike regularity--appearing in rather regular cycles since the 1930s. First, the current basic education movement that originated in the 1970s is reviewed. Criticisms made by proponents of basic education and some remedies proposed that may cure the problems believed to exist today in public schooling are presented. The Essentialist movement of the 1930s is then examined. The Essentialists were a group of professional educators who challenged the then progressive trends in American education. Like today's advocates of basic education, the Essentialists charged that public education, despite its vast extent and heavy cost to society, was appalling, weak, and ineffective. They believed it was crucial that the curriculum be organized systematically and sequentially and that instruction stress logical, chronological and causal relationships. They argued that the teacher should be restored to a position of central authority in the classroom. Lastly, the publication discusses arguments of the educational critics of the 1950s. A new educational movement called "Life Adjustment Education" brought about by World War II became the target for a group of educational critics. The proponents of Life Adjustment Education maintained that the purpose of the schools should be broader in scope than stictly academic programs. The critics perceived of the function of the school in academic terms. (Author/RM)
Descriptors: Educational History, Educational Objectives, Educational Philosophy, Educational Practices, Educational Theories, Elementary Secondary Education, Humanistic Education, Progressive Education
Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Eighth Street & Union Avenue, Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402 ($0.75, quantity discounts available).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington, IN.