ERIC Number: EJ863681
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 28
Transforming American Educational Identity after Sputnik
Steeves, Kathleen Anderson; Bernhardt, Philip Evan; Burns, James P.; Lombard, Michele K.
American Educational History Journal, v36 n1 p71-87 2009
Some questions about education in the United States are easier to answer than others. If one wants to compare curriculum requirements across states, the data can be acquired and conclusions announced. However, any discussion of philosophy of learning or results of some pedagogy or another requires a look at what others have thought about, researched and concluded. Even with this information, the landscape of schooling changes with shifts in personnel, research or demographics. Thus, the strength of an argument may come from exploring an idea from varied perspectives. This analysis examines American public schooling after the 1957 launch of the Russian satellite, Sputnik, not as one event with one result, but rather as a representation of multiple responses that had varying effects--small and large. The authors explore how Sputnik and its attendant political response has impacted their understanding of schooling and its role in describing who they are as citizens, teachers, and learners. Teachers, administrators, students and government all have significant roles in building an image of schooling. As the authors examine this particular event, they address a question of identity. They argue that the event altered the way the education system functioned, especially in its locus of control, but ultimately had less effect on the social or institutional identity or purpose and more effect on the psychological aspects of the individual and the social elements within identity and purpose.
Descriptors: Technological Advancement, Nationalism, Competition, Fear, Educational Philosophy, Locus of Control, Federal Government, Crisis Management, Role of Education, Ideology, Social Influences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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