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School, Society, & StateA New Education to Govern Modern America, 1890 – 1940$
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Tracy L. Steffes

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226772097

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226772127.001.0001

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Urban School Reform, Professionalization, and the Science of Education

Urban School Reform, Professionalization, and the Science of Education

(p.15) One Urban School Reform, Professionalization, and the Science of Education
School, Society, & State
University of Chicago Press

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

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