Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13

From World War to Woods Hole: The Impact of Wartime Research Models on Curriculum Reform

by John Rudolph - 2002

The curriculum reform movement that began in the late 1950s is widely viewed as the result of a broadly academic effort to restore disciplinary rigor to education in the United States. Much of the work that went on developing the new curricular materials and educational approaches, however, is better understood as an experiment in applying innovative research and development techniques perfected by scientists during World War II. This essay traces the development of these newer methods of scientific analysis and examines how they were imported from the military research programs to the field of education by a select group of physicists centered around Jerrold Zacharias at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is to these physicists, I argue, that this curriculum reform movement owes its fundamental operational characteristics, its conception of the problem of education, and the means of its solution in America at midcentury. Exploring the historical origins of these reforms reveals a good deal about how scientists of the time framed the portability of military techniques, organization, and administrative models of action and provides insight into the current emphasis on technique and performance that has come to characterize United States educational policy.

To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
Purchase this Article
Purchase From World War to Woods Hole: The Impact of Wartime Research Models on Curriculum Reform
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 104 Number 2, 2002, p. 212-241
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10834, Date Accessed: 8/2/2021 1:16:35 AM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review
Article Tools
Related Articles

Related Discussion
Post a Comment | Read All

About the Author
  • John Rudolph
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    E-mail Author
    JOHN L. RUDOLPH is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include the history of science education in the United States and the history and philosophy of science in science teaching. His forthcoming book, Scientists in the Classroom: The Cold War Reconstruction of American Science Education (New York: Palgrave/St. Martin's Press), examines the origins of the National Science Foundation-funded curriculum reforms of the 1950s and 1960s.
Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue