Education and Social Change : Contours in the History of American Schooling book cover
6th Edition

Education and Social Change
Contours in the History of American Schooling

ISBN 9780367242978
Published August 14, 2019 by Routledge
270 Pages

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Book Description

This brief, interpretive history of American schooling focuses on the evolving relationship between education and social change. Like its predecessors, this new edition investigates the impact of social forces such as industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and cultural conflict on the development of schools and other educational institutions. It also examines the various ways that schools have contributed to social change, particularly in enhancing the status and accomplishments of certain social groups and not others. Detailed accounts of the experiences of women and minority groups in American history consider how their lives have been affected by education at key points in the past.

Updates to this edition

  • A revised final chapter updated to include recent changes in educational politics, finance, policy, and a shifting federal policy context
  • Enhanced coverage and new conceptual frames for understanding the experiences of women and people of color in the midst of social change
  • Edited throughout to update information and sources regarding the history of American education and related processes of social transformation in the nation’s past

Table of Contents

0. Introduction: History, Social Change, And Education 

1. Colonial America: Religion, Inequality And Revolution 

2. Emergence Of A Modern School System: The Nineteenth Century 

3. Ethnicity, Gender, And Race: Contours Of Social Change In The 19th Century 

4. Growth, Reform And Differentiation: The Progressive Era 

5. Education, Equity And Social Policy: Postwar America To The 1970s 

6. Globalization And Human Capital: From "A Nation At Risk" To Neo-Liberal Reform 

7. Epilogue: Education And Social Change In Perspective

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John L. Rury is Professor of Education and (by courtesy) History and African & African American Studies at the University of Kansas. A past president of the History of Education Society and vice president of the American Educational Research Association, he has also served as an editor of the American Educational Research Journal.


"Its adept treatment of historical developments with interpretive themes is accomplished in a remarkably concise and accessible manner." —Sevan Terzian, University of Florida, USA

"I really like the book’s central question: do schools change society or does society change schools? While students quickly realize the answer is ‘both,’ this interplay throughout the text works nicely for me. It also supports well another central question that I usually emphasize: the ‘education for what purpose’ question." —Monica McKinney, Meredith College, USA

"I would recommend this book to all educators, administrators, and researchers interested in the historical influences on education and social change. This book is especially important for state, local, and federal policy makers to reexamine the damages of history on marginalized groups." —Education Review