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Why the Grammar of School Persists: Tyack & Cuban, Chapter 4
Transcript of Why the Grammar of School Persists: Tyack & Cuban, Chapter 4
-It enabled teachers to discharge their duties in a particular fashion and to cope with the everyday tasks that the school board, administrators, and parents expected.
-Control student behavior
-Instruct heterogeneous pupils
-Sort people for future schooling/roles
-They (established institutional forms) became fixed in place by everyday custom in schools and by outside forces, both legal mandates and cultural beliefs, until they are barely noticed. They become just the way schools are. Reformers wanted to “Shake it Up” The standard grammar of schooling has proven remarkably durable. Well into the 20th century, one-room school houses numbered over a hundred thousand. Recite Lessons “a pedagogical monstrosity, for the masters had to move
quickly from child to child, each at different levels
of achievement, while maintaining draconian discipline. Why Grade Schools Persisted People began to recognize that the graded school might have been efficient for the majority of students whose culture matched its requirements, but for the poor and immigrants the system seemed geared to produce failure. •Top down approach, university presidents viewed the system of schooling as chaotic and ineffective.
•“They had no doubt that what was good for the elite colleges was also good for the country.”
•Carnegie Unit = defined as “a course of five periods weekly throughout an academic year” in secondary school subjects (by common custom, these “periods” came to be about fifty to fifty five minutes long).
•The trustees had to decide what a college was; the institution must have at least six full-time professors offer, “a course of four full years in the liberal arts and sciences.”
•They judged that only fifty-two colleges met their criteria.
•14 units English, mathematics, Latin, Greek, foreign languages, history, and science.
•Critics of the Carnegie unit argued that this mentality better suited a bank than a school. •Named after the Massachusetts town where the innovation was first introduced.
•Parkhurst emphasized individual student’s freedom and responsibility, cooperation with other students and adults, time budgeting to complete assigned tasks.
•Monthly contracts with teachers, students moved at their own pace. Page 95.
•“However appealing the Dalton Plan may have been in theory and successful in practice when carried out by skilled and energetic educators, it influenced policy talk far more than practice.” Page 96.
•Teachers objected to the massive amount of paperwork. Some aspects of the plan are used within in the system, but it did not change the system. The Eight – Year Study
•1933-1941, evaluators compared the college grades of graduates of the twenty nine schools in the Eight Year Study with a matched set of graduates of more traditional secondary schools.
•They discovered that the former performed about as well as the latter in their courses and were more active in collegiate social, artistic, and political life. The progressive school students did the best in college.
•Why did the reform fail? External conditions such as WWII and the Cold War. Security concerns promoted conservatism and authoritarianism in schools. Internally it exhausted teachers, highly labor intensive, high teacher turnover.
•Result reveals that substantial changes in the grammar of secondary schools were possible under highly favorable conditions. 1960's Rouseauean Revolution Carnegie Unit Dalton Plan The Eight-Year Study -"Free Schools"
-"Schools without wall"
-"Schools of tomorrow" 1970's -Community call for "real schools"
-Complaints of lax discipline
and lower academic standards
-"Back to basics" Can the grammar of schooling be broken?