The Impossible Dream: Education and the Search for Panaceas


reviewed by Sonia E. Murrow - 2004

coverTitle: The Impossible Dream: Education and the Search for Panaceas
Author(s): Thomas C. Hunt
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing, New York
ISBN: 0820437476, Pages: 301, Year: 2003
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Since its inception, American schooling has been charged with the immense responsibility of improving the nation’s social, political, and economic life. Referred to by Horace Mann as “the great equalizer” and by Lyndon B. Johnson as “the thing that can answer to all our national problems,” schooling in America is and has been perceived as the great cure-all.   Historians and other scholars have attempted to determine why Americans place such enormous faith in schooling. Labeling schooling in America as a “great crusade,” Diane Ravitch proclaimed, “no other idea has seemed more typically American than the belief that education could cure society’s ills” (Ravitch, 1983: xii).  Hannah Arendt argued that education occupies such an important position in American life because of its role in the continual assimilation of immigrants (Arendt, 1958).  Henry Perkinson maintained that American schooling, from its early beginnings, has been equated with the task of socialization, and thus, serves as a crucial arbitrator of the status quo (Perkinson, 1991). All of these perspectives posit education as essential... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 2, 2004, p. 311-314
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11197, Date Accessed: 9/27/2021 12:00:49 PM

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