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The Irony of Early School Reform: Educational Innovation in Mid-Nineteenth Century Massachusetts


reviewed by Jack K. Campbell 1971

coverTitle: The Irony of Early School Reform: Educational Innovation in Mid-Nineteenth Century Massachusetts
Author(s): Michael B. Katz
Publisher: Harvard University Press, Cambridge
ISBN: , Pages: 325, Year: 1968
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Looking back in anger, Michael Katz sees mass public education coming to Massachusetts more as a conservative conspiracy than as a response to democratic, humanitarian, and working-class demands. By reinterpreting the motivations of the common school founders, he stimulates constructive controversy. His thesis will not shock the younger generation disenchanted with the Establishment, nor will it surprise the educational historians who hold that formal education is always a reflection of the dominant class. More than a new look at the past, however, this provocative study offers a fresh look at the present and shows how the deep cultural division between school and working class has complicated urban reform from the beginning. Even though his chronology weaves back and forth between the 1820's and 1860's, Professor Katz builds effective models out of school and industrial-urban development in selected Massachusetts communities. He begins his case with the 1860 vote to abolish the high school in Beverly. Using the roll call of voters, tax books, and census records, he sees... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 72 Number 3, 1971, p. 467-468
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 1705, Date Accessed: 9/21/2017 3:24:35 PM

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  • Jack Campbell
    Texas A & M University

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