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Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920 [Paperback]

by Larry Cuban
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 1986 080772792X 978-0807727928
Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920

Frequently Bought Together

Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920 + Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America (Technology, Education--Connections (Tec)) (Technology, Education-Connections, the Tec Series)
Price for both: $38.86

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press (January 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080772792X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807727928
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a former high school social studies teacher (14 years), district superintendent (7 years) and university professor (20 years). I have published op-ed pieces, scholarly articles and books on classroom teaching, history of school reform, how policy gets translated into practice, and teacher and student use of technologies in K-12 and college.

Recent research projects have been a study of school reform in Austin (TX) 1954-2009, a large comprehensive high school in Mapleton (CO) being converted into several small ones between 2001-2009, and how structural change in U.S. schools over the past century have had little effect in altering how teachers teach. The Austin book was As Good As It Gets (2010. The Mapleton study written with Gary Lichtenstein, Arthur Evenchik, Martin Tombari, and Kristen Pozzoboni was Against the Odds (2010), and the book on structural change and teaching is Inside the Black Box of Classroom Practice: Change without Reform in American Education (2013).

I currently blog at:

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Technology adoption and failure in American education. February 7, 1999
By A Customer
Cuban reviews the attempts to adopt technology into American classrooms throughout the 20th century. Moving pictures, radio, TV, and other technology-based improvements were loudly acclaimed to herald a new paradigm for education. All attempts failed to make a dent in established curriculum and teaching. Cuban analyzes these failures, and applies his ideas to the current wave of technology edu-euphoria, the computer.
I'm not sure his dire 1986 predictions are valid now, with the saturation of classrooms and tool-orientation that the modern computer offers. However, his book is essential reading if you want to think carefully before adopting technology in a school system. Learn from history, don't repeat it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Excellent history of technology in 20th century eduction (until 1984). Radio, TV, film...all with promises, trajectories, and pitfalls similar(though not the same) to computers and the Internet. Cuban's description and analysis of the reactions of teachers, schools, and the educational establishment to technology are credible and insightful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In his book "Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920," Larry Cuban--a Stanford professor and expert at the time in the history of education and educational policy--provides an analytic overview of the use of technology in the educational classroom in the 20th century. Cuban focuses primarily on film, radio, and television and their impact on educational policy and practice, then ends his review with a brief overview of computers and how they were beginning to be incorporated into the classroom in the early 1980s. With each of those mediums, Cuban notes how they were initially touted and praise, how they were implemented and used, and how various barriers--including policy barriers, infrastructure barriers, and teacher training barriers--stopped them from being fully and completely embraced in the classroom.

Overall, I recommend this book. It is well-written, easy-to-read, and makes an important contribution to the literature on the history of educational technology. I believe that this book provides a lot of value in giving us an accurate history of the use of technology in the classroom and reinforces for the readers how many of these trends--especially trends related to the barriers of education technology practice--continue to be relevant today. In this way, Cuban provides a valuable overview of where we have come from and gives us insight into what needs to change to achieve the highest level of educational opportunities for students as possible. Finally, from a historical standpoint, Cuban's book provides an interesting perspective of the hesitancy early in the computer age to embrace it and to realize it's true potential.
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