The Era of Adjustment: Progress and Regress
From 1920 to 1954 the United States was progressing as a world power and protector of democracy across the globe. Despite the onset of the great depression in 1929, unprecedented influxes of wealth spread to many citizens in the first and final years of the era. Having established its place in the international community as a democratic leader, the need to stress assimilation internally diminished as a priority in schools. The changes in American culture and history of the time are similarly embodied in the developments that were occurring in schools. To decide whether schools were progressing during this era is to analyze whether the changes ultimately fostered growth in children and prepared them as members of vibrant societies. Progress must also be widespread for it to be affective. Regress alternatively, is to only provide a thorough education and opportunities to few students. This era is not a perfect example of educational progression, however, as a whole I feel it was a step in the right direction based on its emphasis on more child centered education, implementation of more dynamic curriculums and the emerging importance of education. However, the widespread use of testing and exclusionary classes did hinder many students from benefiting during this era.
During this time period, school leaders and middle and upper class parents alike sought for a more supportive school environment for their children. (Graham 2005) Many believed that American democracy could be reached by directly serving the children rather than having the children serve the nation, as it was thought during the previous era of assimilation. (Graham 2005) “Child- Centered” schools emerged across the country were meant to provide individual children support in their intellectual, social and moral growth. More flexible curriculums were put in place to fit the children’s need as well as more dynamic activities to teach children, such as...
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