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What Happened to American Schooling in the First Part of the Twentieth Century?


by Herbert M. Kliebard — 1985

Over a period of several years two main traditions have dominated the way in which American education has been seen and interpreted. The older tradition has been to focus on the story of how American education expanded from elitist traditions, borrowed largely from Europe, to encompass the great mass of children and youth in the United States. American education, from this perspective, is the story of a gradual transformation from a selective and class-biased system to one much more in harmony with popular American democracy. In general, the data for this story are drawn from the ever-increasing numbers of students who were entering the schoolhouse doors. It is, in one sense, a very dramatic story, the story of an experiment in mass public education extending at least to secondary schools—an experiment that many people would insist is still under way and where the results are still inconclusive.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 84, No. 2.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 86 Number 6, 1985, p. 1-22
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 19128, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 3:40:45 PM

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About the Author
  • Herbert Kliebard
    University of Wisconsin—Madison
    HERBERT M. KLIEBARD is a professor at the University of Wisconsin—Madison in the departments of curriculum and instruction and educational policy studies.
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