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Tinkering toward Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform


reviewed by John L. Rury — 1997

coverTitle: Tinkering toward Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform
Author(s): David Tyack, Larry Cuban
Publisher: Harvard University Press, Cambridge
ISBN: 0674892836, Pages: 196, Year: 1995
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School reform has been a feature of public life in this country for more than two hundred years. As long as schools have been linked to the peculiar American ideology of improvement through education, it seems, someone has been trying to invent a better school. David Tyack and Larry Cuban have examined the course of educational reform over the past century, with a view toward informing current and future reform efforts. Theirs is hardly an exhaustive treatment of the topic; indeed, as a work of historical scholarship it is largely a sketch of certain predominant themes. But more important, they offer a framework for interpreting reform, past and present, which no doubt will be influential for years to come. Ever responsible historians, Tyack and Cuban point out that schools have changed in dramatic ways over the past century, and that much "reform" has worked to create the multifaceted yet highly standardized educational system we have today. Along the way a great many alternative visions were offered... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 98 Number 3, 1997, p. 567-569
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 9652, Date Accessed: 12/11/2017 12:46:36 AM

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