The Struggle for the American Curriculum 1893-1958

Timeline created by Lindi K.
In History
  • Kurschner, L_EDCI 610 The Development of American Curriculum

    Kurschner, L_EDCI 610 The Development of American Curriculum
    What should be taught in school?
    This question develops through Herbert Klibard's book, "The Struggles for the American Curriculum 1893-1958" and is still evolving today. This timeline takes us through the influential people and impactful events that took place in the 19th & 20th centuries; how they have impacted our curriculum today, how we can use the past to form and improve our curriculum in the future.
    (Kliebard, 2004).
  • William Harvey Wells (1856-1864)

    William Harvey Wells (1856-1864)
    In the 1800s schools began to transition from one-room schoolhouses and evolved into what we see in schools today.
    The Lancastrian system led to a common (standardized) course of study.
    Textbooks gave teachers a "default" course of study.
    Chicago Superintendent of schools, William Harvey Wells divided all students into grades. He thought a distinct course of study for each subject and grade was needed. This set a standard & influenced the change in curriculum going into the 20th century.
  • Lester Frank Ward

    Lester Frank Ward
    -Led the 4th minded-movement, the Social Melorists.
    -Believed in the power of human intelligence.
    -Free-will to make a change.
    -Schools could be a major force of social change & could shape the curriculum policies that lie ahead in the future.
    (Kliebard, 2004, p.21).
    1890s Meliorism Movement
    -A belief that the world can be made better by human effort.
    -It creates an individual approach to education.
    -Teachers are now seen as "molders" versus experts. I think this holds true today!
  • Hull House

    Hull House
    -Established and created by Jane Addams and her friend.
    -Focused on the changes needed in Chicago for people of low socioeconomic status and assisted them in learning to sustain themselves.
    -Brought people together and implemented education and training for people of all ages, races, and backgrounds.
    -Worked closely with John Dewey.
    (Kliebard, 2004).
  • Curriculum Status Quo and The Need for Change (Part 1)

    Curriculum Status Quo and The Need for Change (Part 1)
    Moving into the twentieth century, the struggle for control of the American Curriculum was in full force. Communities were changing due to the time period, social changes, and roles. The curriculum in the 1890s was presented by the doctrine of mental disciplinarians that favored the mind as a muscle & could be trained through practice, discipline, and recitation. School enrollment began to grow and jobs requested better-prepared workers. Education needed to change.
    (Kliebard, 2004).
  • Social Transformation in the 1890s (Part 2)

    Social Transformation in the 1890s (Part 2)
    -Industrial Revolution caused big and fast changes.
    -Empirical Movement.
    -William James & Edward L. Thorndike influenced the developmental scientific approach and fought against the disciplinarian approach.
    -Culture shift of factory work vs. school system.
    By 1900s
    -Increased school enrollment in secondary schools
    -Technology advancements
    -Focus new attention on the institution of schooling.
    (Kliebard, 2004, p.6).
  • Charles W. Eliot (Part 2)

    Charles W. Eliot (Part 2)
    -Committee of Ten.
    -Mental disciplinarian with a scientific background.
    -President of Harvard University.
    -Supported electives.
    -The central function of schools: systematic development of reasoning power.
    -"no curricular distinction between those students preparing for college and these preparing for "life"."(p.10).
    -He thought subjects should be taught differently to different populations. "college prep" and "life prep". Still a discussion today!
    (Kliebard, 2004).
  • Committee of Ten (Part 1)

    Committee of Ten (Part 1)
    The committee was created to address the expectations students needed to obtain in order to enter college.
    -Minimal standards were set and very unclear.
    -There needed to be unity.
    (Kliebard, 2004, p.8).
    -Even today, many colleges and universities have different expectations and requirements to apply and enter into their programs.
  • G. Stanly Hall

    G. Stanly Hall
    -Developmentalist (science & psychology increased).
    -Thought curriculum should be individualized based on intellectual ability.
    -Education should follow the nature of the child and their development.
    -Had a vision for social reform.
    -Founded the Child Study Movement.
    -Strongly disagreed with the Committee of Ten and noted: "three extraordinary fallacies" (Kliebard, 2004,p.12). He believed they must look at the mental development of the child. Common subjects are not as prominent.
  • Joseph Mayer Rice

    Joseph Mayer Rice
    -A spokesperson for Social Efficiency.

    -Traveled and made observations of the schools and classrooms he visited.
    -He wrote nine articles published in "The Forum" (1892-1893).
    -He wanted better teacher training and environments for children.
    -Education was still strict and well-disciplined, which is why Rice thought the school system was becoming "lifeless".
    (Kliebard, 2004, p.18-20).
  • John Dewey

    John Dewey
    -Joins the University of Chicago.
    -Dewey took over the combined department of philosophy, psychology, and pedagogy at the University of Chicago.
    -He found that education for the individual as a functioning member and contributor to society was possible.
    -He believed in making school a "miniature community" and students' individuality could enrich the social community. The school had an impact on social change.
    (Kliebard, 2004, p.54).
    -His work is still used and discussed today.
  • William T. Harris

    William T. Harris
    -Chairman of Committee Fifteen.
    -He was more aware of social changes than Eliot and the Committee of 10.
    -He believed some subjects were more important than others and created the five "windows of the soul"-grammar, literature and art, mathematics, geography, and history.
    -He embraced reforms like women's high education and the introduction of kindergarten.
    (Kliebard, 2004, p.15).
  • Committee of Fifteen

    Committee of Fifteen
    Recognized that issues started with younger students and created a focus on elementary curriculum vs. colleges and universities like the Committee of Ten.
  • National Herbart Society

    *Starting point for John Dewey.
    -Charles De Garmo was a key figure for the Herbartians
    Scientific/developmental approach.
    -He was against Harris's views of "windows of the soul" and concentration.
    The Herbartian group thought there was a relationship between subjects meaning they work together. Also, they saw one subject as the center, and others follow and built off one another creating unity.
    (Kliebard, 2004, p.16-17).
  • Booker T. Washington

    Booker T. Washington
    -Gave the "Atlanta Compromise" speech.
    -Thought the black community should not agitate for political and social equality. Instead, he thought they should work hard, and earn respect. He helped the black community to become trained in industrial arts and manual training in order to prepare for employment and eventually hoped to gain rights of full citizenship.
    (Tell The We Are Rising).
  • W.E.B Du Bois

    W.E.B Du Bois
    -First African-American to get a Ph.D. from Harvard University (1895).
    -Opposed Booker T. Washington's "Atlanta Compromise".
    After teaching in Tennessee, he brought awareness to the issues black communities face. He believed that the pursuit of liberal arts would become the equalizer for the black community. Having the right to education would create a better life (freedom & independence) for the black community.
    (Kliebard, 2004, p.114).
    (Tell Them We Are Rising).
  • John Franklin Bobbitt

    John Franklin Bobbitt
    The University of Chicago.
    -He applied scientific management to education.
    -He wanted to "eliminate waste in the curriculum" and adapt to meet the changes in the industrial society.
    -He focused on establishing a curriculum that fits the industrial society and better prepares students for college.
    -Aimed for the curriculum to allow all students to succeed.
    -This led to differentiation in the classroom and understanding student strengths and weaknesses.
    (Kliebard, 2004, p.84).
  • Junior High (Part 1)

    Junior High (Part 1)
    -Frank Bunker
    -The increase in mental testing came after World War I.
    -"raw material" in junior high allowed for a differentiated curriculum, in the high schools.
    -Multiple ideas came together to make a significant change in education (a combination of Social Efficacy & Developmentalists).
    -Differences in development called for separation between pre-and-post adolescents (by age). Restructuring of subjects occurred to fit the "new utilitarian curricula" (Kliebard, 2004, p.107).
  • Junior High (Part 2)

    Junior High (Part 2)
    The first junior high was in Berkley, CA.
    This was a big change in education, and I believe it allows junior high students to explore and be exposed to different subjects early on before entering high school. It allows them to narrow their interests and be able to focus on their passions with high school courses.
  • William Heard Klipatrick

    William Heard Klipatrick
    *The Project Method.
    He said, "We too generally take the child at the beginning stage of experience and try to give him the most complete adult formulation" (Kliebard, 2004, p.137).
    -He strived to make school part of students daily living-"worthy life" instead of just in school (Kliebard, 2004, p.137-138).
    -He wanted to make the curriculum accessible to all students in the nation.
    -Though subject matter should function directly in accomplishing human purposes.
  • World War II

    World War II
    -Impacted teacher and student enrollment due to enlisting in the war.
    -The world is now learning how to adapt to a post-war society.
    -Searching for a balance between educational curriculum and vocational education.
    -Helped establish the importance of education and developing an understanding of what it means to be a citizen.
    (Kliebard, 2004).
  • Brown V. Board of Education

    Brown V. Board of Education
    -Topeka, Kansas.
    -Separate but equal is unconstitutional.
    -Supreme Court abolished segregation in schools.
    (Tell Them We Are Rising).
  • Turning of Events (1957-1983)

    Turning of Events (1957-1983)
    Soviet Launch of Sputnik (1957)
    -Caused major fear.
    -Lead to the focus and push of STEM education to be on par in comparison with other countries.
    -It created a push for science and mathematics, which we still see in schools today. President Ronald Reagan Address(1983)
    A nation at Risk; the "Evil Empire Speech"
    Fear of Cold War. Both of these led to huge reforms and greater expectations for students.
    (Kliebard, 2004, p.266).
    (Story of the Sputnik Movement, 2010).
  • Curriculum Today (Conclusion)

    Curriculum Today (Conclusion)
    After reading Kliebard, I understand the longevity of the struggle with the American curriculum. It is important to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each reform and the evolution of education in order to continue building a curriculum that better meets the needs of our students and society as a whole. Curriculum today is still heavily influenced by Social Efficiency and Developmentalists.
  • Period: to

    John Dewey (School)

    A well-known philosopher in the 20th century. Dewey’s focus was on how to integrate an appropriate curriculum into the school setting and how to teach it. He incorporated lessons students found interesting. He also believed students needed tools in order to contribute to society.
    -He thought when subjects were taught, students did not relate it to the context of the real world and were unable to make those connections. I believe this is still an issue today.
    (Kliebard, 2004).