Chapter

Creating Citizens and Workers: Curriculum Reform and the Aims of Education in a Democracy

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/9780226772127.003.0006
Creating Citizens and Workers: Curriculum Reform and the Aims of Education in a Democracy

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In 1894, the National Education Association (NEA) Committee of Ten on Secondary School Studies released a report stating that all subjects should be held in “equal rank for the purposes of admission to college” and rejected the idea of separate curriculums based on the destination of students. Twenty-five years later, the Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education, another NEA study of secondary school curriculum, reached a radically different conclusion, which reflected the changes that had taken place in secondary education. It articulated seven primary aims of secondary education that were oriented toward practical preparation for life: Health, vocation, ethical character, citizenship, command of fundamental processes, worthy home-membership, and worthy use of leisure. This chapter examines the political, legal, and ideological debates over high school curriculum reform in America, as reflected in the expansion of two new modern subjects: civics and vocational training. It first describes vocational education in the twentieth century before turning to social citizenship training and social education, and concludes by discussing the place of schools in the democratic social order.

Keywords: National Education Association; secondary education; curriculum reform; civics; vocational training; vocational education; social citizenship; social education; social order; America

Chapter.  17502 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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