Project Classroom Makeover, By Cathy Davidson

1169 Words5 Pages
Jennifer White Professor Lee ENC 1102 25 September 2015 Summary Cathy Davidson is an English and humanities professor at Duke University. She has published over twenty books, many dealing with technology and education. In “Project Classroom Makeover,” she argues that the way the United States teaches students is not preparing them for the skills needed for success in the twenty-first century. To illustrate her point, Professor Davidson presents the historical development of the educational system in the U.S. She differentiates “high standards” from “standardization” and stresses the need for education to offer rigor, relevance, and relationship (201). In 2010, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School…show more content…
In the farming society of the early 1800’s, education was not possible for many children. Horace Mann, a farm boy himself and an early advocate for educational reform, saw the deficiencies in the educational system. He pushed for “common schools” that would retain local control, be co-educational and revolve around the agricultural year. Mann’s ideas began to be adopted around the country in the second half of the nineteenth century. By the start of the twentieth century, mandatory public schooling was the norm. This was the height of the industrial revolution. As Davidson notes in “Project Classroom Makeover”, “Public Education was seen as the most efficient way to train potential workers for labor in the newly urbanized factories (197).” Schools began to work like an assembly line with a focus on efficiency, attention to detail, memorization of facts and staying on task. Curriculum became standardized and states began to replace the local management of education. Critically thinking outside the box was less valued. Regardless of ability, children started school at the same age and were moved through their education in a regulated process. By the middle of the twentieth century, as the United States became a world power, the educational focus had shifted from elementary education to the attainment of high school and college degrees. A goal of education was to produce leaders. The period after WWII
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