- Paperback: 360 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 3 edition (August 3, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415948916
- ISBN-13: 978-0415948913
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Struggle for the American Curriculum, 1893-1958 3rd Edition
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"Almost by definition, a classic text resists revision. But Herbert Kliebard's "Struggle for the American Curriculum is a welcome exception. Retaining its focus upon conflicts between curriculum theorists, Kliebard's latest edition adds new chapters about changes in school subjects themselves. The result is a lot like Herb Kliebard himself: concise, witty, graceful, and wise. Kliebard is a gentleman as well as a scholar, and it shows."
-Jonathan Zimmerman, New York University
"Kliebard's book has many strengths: it is lucidly written and the author discusses a wide range of issues and people in a succinct, fair, and scholarly manner. For these reasons alone it should appeal to a wide audience."
Praise for the previous editions
-Harvard Educational Review
"Just as Kliebard's was an impressive voice calling for the study of curriculum history, so his own response to that need is impressive. "The Struggle for the American Curriculum, 1893-1958 is well-researched and gracefully written, insightful as well as interesting."
Praise for the previous editions
-Teachers College Record
About the Author
Herbert M. Kliebard is Professor Emeritus of Educational Policy Studies and Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is the author of Schooled to Work: Vocationalism and the American Curriculum, 1876-1946.
Top customer reviews
With its many twist and turns, the reader is given a glimpse into why education is the way it is, and the many voices and philosophies that helped shape it into its current hegemonic institution. The movement that has left the widest and most permanent imprint on education is that of social efficiency, rooted in the concepts of the Industrial Revolution - get them in and get them out. Sadly, that is the way things truly are.
The battle goes on. Recommended for anyone questioning the underlying beliefs of our current educational system.
The Struggle for the American Curriculum helped me understand the multifaceted power relationships that shape curriculum. No longer do I see American curriculum as a neutral entity. Whether it is Charles Elliot reifying the Western ethnocentrism in the Committees of 10 and 15, or the Texas Board of Education approving ethnocentric history textbooks in today's draconian test culture, we cannot shake the value-laden decisions that prize one group's knowledge over another. Most frightening is the pervasive sense of déjà vu I felt in reading Kliebard's book. The curricular reforms we believe will ameliorate inequality are too often the ghosts of races already run. In our efforts to close achievement gaps, we may be stuck perpetuating them.
Those who believe that schools should be a place where young people are intellectually engaged in worthwhile learning for the ultimate purpose of developing active democratic citizens may walk away from the book a little depressed since Kliebard does seem to indicate that the factions who believe schools are meant to 1) prepare young people for jobs 2)secure American hegemony in the global marketplace, or 3)indoctrinate students to be obediant patriots who conform blindly to whatever adults tell them are the ones who in the end have had the most influence on what our children are actually doing (or not doing) in public schools. Kliebard's quote of Joel Spring in the Afterword rings true for democratic educators who have dedicated their lives to improving education for the common good. Spring contends that the "social efficiency" faction has left such a deep impression on American education that any efforts at reform are hopeless because there are certain organizational features of our schools which we take for granted as normative inhibit freedom and individuality and demand social adaptation.
At any rate, this book is great for anyone who wants to learn more about the deep history of why our schools look the way they do and who is patient enough to read through an intelligent and scholarly work.