Historical Perspectives on Democratic Decision Making in Education: Paradigms, Paradoxes, and Promises
by David Gamson — 2007
“The significance of this new movement is large,” wrote Ellwood P. Cubberley in 1916, praising the growth of scientific measurement in education, “for it means nothing less than the ultimate changing of school administration from guesswork to scientific accuracy; the elimination of favoritism and politics completely from the work; . . . the substitution of professional experts for the old and successful practitioners; and the changing of school supervision from a temporary or a political job, for which little or no technical preparation need be made, to that of a highly skilled piece of professional social engineering” (pp. 325–326). As dean of the Stanford University School of Education, Cubberley was supremely confident, as were many of his contemporaries, that the empirical study of education would uncover timeless educational truths, yield new instructional and administrative practices, and permanently unite educators around a common vision of policymaking.
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