Education and Social Change: Contours in the History of American Schooling, 5th Edition (e-Book) book cover

Education and Social Change

Contours in the History of American Schooling, 5th Edition

By John L. Rury


262 pages

Look Inside
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315713229
pub: 2015-07-24
from $32.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


This brief, interpretive history of American schooling focuses on the evolving relationship between education and social change. Like its predecessors, this new edition adopts a thematic approach, investigating the impact of social forces such as industrialization, urbanization, immigration, globalization, 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, while "Focal Point" sections within each chapter allow the reader to hone in on key moments in history and their relevance within the broader scope of American schooling from the colonial era to the present.

This new edition has been comprehensively updated and edited for greater readability and clarity. It offers a revised final chapter, updated to include recent change in education politics and policy, in particular the decline of No Child Left Behind and the impact of the Common Core and movements against it. Further additions include enhanced coverage of colonial and early post-colonial American schooling, added materials on persistent issues such as race in education, an updated discussion of the GED program, and a closer look at the role of technology in schools. With its nuanced treatment of both historical and contemporary factors influencing the modern school system, this book remains an excellent resource for investigating and critiquing the social, economic, and cultural development of American education.


"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

Table of Contents



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



About the Author

John L. Rury is Professor of Education and (by courtesy) History at the University of Kansas.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects