chapter  15
14 Pages

Educational reform and the ecology of schooling

The aspiration to reform schools has been a recurrent theme in American education. This aspiration frequently is stimulated by changes outside the United States. For example, the successful launching of Sputnik I on October 4, 1957, was sufficiently traumatic to our sense of national security to motivate the Congress of the United States to provide funds for the development of curricula in science and mathematics in order to “catch up with the Russians.” During the 1960s over $100,000,000 was spent in building new programs in these fields and in retraining teachers. Despite all the effort and all the money, there is little that now remains in American schools that reflects the aspirations of the curriculum reform movement of the 1960s: Few of the curricula are to be found. Sputnik I motivated many, but its educational residue is difficult to find.