Fear and Schooling: Understanding the Troubled History of Progressive Education, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Fear and Schooling

Understanding the Troubled History of Progressive Education, 1st Edition

By Ronald Evans


248 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367026943
pub: 2019-09-30
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By exploring the tensions, impacts, and origins of major controversies relating to schooling and curricula since the early twentieth century, this insightful text illustrates how fear has played a key role in steering the development of progressive education in the United States.

Through rigorous historical investigation, Evans demonstrates how numerous public disputes over specific curricular content have been driven by broader societal hopes and fears. Illustrating how the population’s concerns have been historically projected onto American schooling, the text posits educational debate and controversy as a means by which we struggle over changing anxieties and competing visions of the future, and in doing so, limit influence of key progressive initiatives. Episodes examined include the Rugg textbook controversy, the 1950s "crisis" overs progressive education, the MACOS dispute, conservative restoration, culture war battles, and corporate school reform. In examining specific periods of intense controversy, and drawing on previously untapped archival sources, the author identifies patterns and discontinuities and explains the origins, development, and results of each case. Ultimately, this volume powerfully reveals the danger that fear-based controversies pose to hopes for democratic education.

This informative and insightful text will be of interest to graduate and postgraduate students, researchers, and academics in the fields of educational reform, history of education, curriculum studies and sociology of education.

Table of Contents

List of Figures


List of Abbreviations

List of Manuscript Collections Abbreviated in Notes

Introduction: Fear and Schooling

Chapter 1. The Rugg Textbook Controversy: Prelude to a Crisis

Chapter 2. "Crisis" Over Progressive Education, 1947-1958

Chapter 3. The MACOS Dispute: Nationwide Controversy and the End of an Era

Chapter 4. The Conservative Restoration and Return to Tradition, 1971-1989

Chapter 5. Culture War Over the Schools: US History, Texas, Arizona

Chapter 6. Corporate School Reform: From Charlottesville to Jefferson County

About the Author

Ronald W. Evans is professor of education at San Diego State University, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Education

This series aims to present the latest research from right across the field of education. It is not confined to any particular area or school of thought and seeks to provide coverage of a broad range of topics, theories and issues from around the world.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Research