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ERIC Number: EJ943361
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
When the Army Got Progressive: The Civil Affairs Training School at Stanford University, 1943-1945
Justice, Benjamin
History of Education Quarterly, v51 n3 p330-361 Aug 2011
They sat in the Cubberley Education Lecture Hall to hear visiting experts. More often they could be found meeting in reduced-size classes, or working on small-group activities. They usually took notes; sometimes they took field trips. They memorized lists and sat for exams, but they also watched films and acted out scenarios. Rather than take regular courses in the disciplines, they studied an integrated curriculum referred to as "Area Relationships." Some faculty collaborated, team taught, and drew on students' prior knowledge. Even some administrators joined in the role-playing for the big culminating activity. This situation could well describe the kind of education espoused by the Stanford Teacher Education Program. Minus the references to Stanford, these pedagogical behaviors could describe a "progressive" classroom anywhere in the United States in the second half of the twentieth century. Yet this was not the product of a maverick social studies teacher, a school of education, a public or private high school, or any institution within the American educational establishment. This article discusses the program, called the Civil Affairs Training School (CATS), which was designed by and operated by contract for the U.S. Department of War. The students were officers recruited for their exceptional experiences in civilian life--lawyers, engineers, journalists, businessmen, teachers, and police. The military sent them to Stanford (and a handful of elite universities like it) to learn how to run the governments of Europe and the Far East after an eventual Allied victory over Japan and Germany. They were studying to save the world. With war raging across the globe, and all aspects of American society mobilizing at home, the American military found the need to instill in officers many of the same attributes that progressive educators had been advocating for decades--the ability to apply knowledge (and not simply retain it for a test), to think creatively, to work in teams, and to make connections across a variety of disciplines. The architects of the CATS program drew on examples from home and abroad, from civilian education and Army tradition. (Contains 116 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Germany; Japan; United States