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Education and the Cult of Efficiency


reviewed by Lawrence Cremin 1963

coverTitle: Education and the Cult of Efficiency
Author(s): Raymond E. Callahan
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: 0226091503 , Pages: , Year: 1964
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Professor Callahan advances an intriguing thesis in Education and the Cult of Effici­ency, and he does so with verve and per­suasion. What is wrong with today's schools, he argues, is not that they are dominated by the ideals of progressivism, but rather that they have fallen into the hands of narrowly trained administrators who preach the gos­pel of economy under the guise of science. His case is richly documented from the edu­cational literature of the past half-century, and it is a damning case indeed. The story begins in the years just before World War I. The schools, then as now, were under sharp attack as antiquated, wasteful, inefficient, and ineffective. The industrial engineer, Frederick W. Taylor, had captured the imagination of the business community with his principles of scientific management—especially the time-and-mo-tion study and the standardization of tasks —and had argued further that his princi­ples were universally applicable—to homes, farms, churches, universities, and govern­ment agencies. What more appropriate re­sponse for the beleaguered educators than to follow Taylor 's lead and... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 65 Number 2, 1963, p. 184-186
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 2724, Date Accessed: 7/22/2017 12:50:02 AM

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  • Lawrence Cremin
    Teachers College, Columbia University

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