ERIC Number: EJ818620
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 17
Did the Life Adjustment Movement Derail Teacher Education?
Katz, Samuel J.
American Educational History Journal, v34 n2 p249-262 2007
The condition of education within the academy in the period surrounding desegregation might best be described as beleaguered. Ironically, this vulnerable and largely defensive stance emerged as the dividend of a unified movement among educationists (a derogatory term assigned to education faculty and those who populated the public education infrastructure at various levels) to make American education more equitable. Though this movement never explicitly referenced the remedying of racial inequality, the theme of extending the benefits of an appropriate education to all students, not merely the college bound, seemed to echo the Scylla and Charybdis of American public education, excellence and equity, and the harmonious pursuit of both. The failure of one curricular movement in particular, life adjustment, opened the floodgates of criticism of teacher education and education in America. What is manifest in the fusillades of those horrified by the state of American education and the defensive responses of the educationists is that desegregation was never a priority. Critics only erratically mentioned desegregation, and it never figured prominently in the seminal blasts at education of this period. The author contends that the failure of life adjustment meant not only that the specific needs of the integrated classroom were not being addressed in preservice teacher education, but that America no longer trusted the educationist infrastructure. The greatest damage to the field came from its practitioners itself.
Descriptors: Adjustment (to Environment), Educational History, School Desegregation, Preservice Teacher Education, Preservice Teachers, Public Education, Role of Education, Criticism, Teacher Education, Educational Environment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A