ERIC Number: ED277160
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: 0
Post-Sputnik Educational Reform Era: To Dream the Impossible Dream.
Hiatt, Diana Buell
From the launch of Sputnik in 1957 until the approval of Proposition 13 in California in 1978, pressures for academic and social reform prompted numerous changes in the schools. Academic reforms were begun first, focusing on curricular revisions in reading, mathematics, and science. Social reform efforts led to the equalization of access to education and the creation of new courses to prepare children to become effective citizens. Conflicts between the two reform movements, an overabundance of innovations, and shrinking financial support eventually brought the era to an end. Some innovations did take root, however, including the use of behavioral objectives, the application of research techniques in curriculum development, the decentralization of decision-making, and the development of new types of instructional materials. The changes also created some new dangers, such as those inherent in restricting instruction to the teaching of measurable skills, misusing research efforts to enhance fundraising, adopting "teacherproof" materials that can demoralize teachers, and focusing teacher education on academic content at the expense of pedagogy. Reviewing the mistakes of the post-Sputnik era and recalling the era's spirit of enthusiasm and dedication may help future reformers find effective paths to change. (PGD)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the California Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, 1986).