Chapter

Urban School Reform, Professionalization, and the Science of Education

in School, Society, & State

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780226772097
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226772127 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226772127.003.0002
Urban School Reform, Professionalization, and the Science of Education

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In a series of chapters published in the Forum in 1892, Joseph Mayer Rice criticized St. Louis schools for their “absolute lack of sympathy for the child.” His critique of the interjection of politics into school administration and his argument that professional expertise and merit should run the schools reflected a growing critique in the 1890s of city governance in general and school governance in particular, and pointed to two of the major lines of reform activity over the next fifty years: Efforts to revise pedagogy and broaden the school curriculum and aims on the one hand, and efforts to transform school governance on the other. This chapter analyzes urban school reform and professionalization, arguing that both shaped the growth of state power in America, and examines how the reform of urban schools catalyzed the development of the science of education and provided an important impetus and audience for new education expertise.

Keywords: Joseph Mayer Rice; urban schools; school reform; professional expertise; pedagogy; professionalization; science of education; state power; America; school administration

Chapter.  13226 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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