Whatever Happened to Open Classrooms?

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

I am beginning a new feature in this blog called: “Whatever Happened To ….”

From time to time I will publish posts that take a look at innovations that policymakers and practitioners hailed as “transforming”  or “revolutionary” insofar as altering how districts conduct business, schools work, teachers teach and students learn. Not only hyped in the media and by word-of-mouth, these innovations spread across thousands of schools in the U.S. as their brand became known. Each was the reform du jour.

Such stories are a reminder of the ever-changing topography of U.S. schooling. Historians are like geologists who inspect strata of rock formations for what flora and fauna existed in earlier times and what accounts for their appearance and seeming disappearance.

The first of these I examine is “The Open Classroom” that mushroomed in schools and districts in the late-1960s through most the 1970s. To describe the innovation, I ask…

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