Reformers Creating a Usable Past: Myths and Realities

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Consider the following:

*Progressive school reformers praise the 19th century one-room school for multi-age grouping, students helping one another learn their lessons, and close connections between school and community; conservative school reformers see the same one-room school house as a place where order and discipline ruled the day and students learned basic skills.

*Technology-driven reformers describe 21st century U.S. public schools as products of a late-19th century industrial age when schools became assembly-line factories and continue to this day to turn out graduates unequipped to enter a post-industrial, knowledge-based economy where jobs require collaboration, problem-solving skills, and creativity.

Both statements about the past are myths. Both derive from reformers-turned-historians with selective memories who seek to advance their current agendas. They create a usable past. And in doing so, they tip-toe around truth.

Professional historians wince when fellow historians and policy elites dip into the past and recover evidence that is…

View original post 643 more words

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s