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

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

(p.155) Five Creating Citizens and Workers: Curriculum Reform and the Aims of Education in a Democracy
School, Society, & State
University of Chicago Press

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

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