So Let’s Start An #eduhistory Book Club, Then?

Bud Hunt, Bud the Teacher, Nov 05, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

"The more I dig back, too, into history, or, at least, the stuff that was written in the past on many of the issues facing us as educators right now," writes Bud Hunt, "the more I’m certain that time spent reading the work of before is worth doing." Quite so, and that's why I'm all in favour of his proposal, as the title suggests, to "start an #eduhistory book club." The first text he recommends is the Committee of Ten Report, published in 1893, recommending courses of study for American students (beginning, of course, with Latin and Greek (though lamenting (p. 80) that so few colleges recommend through rntrance exams the reading by sight of Greek texts)). You can see the reasoning - this is the text that defined, if not the exact curriculum, then at least the idea of curriculum, in U.S. education. Though one wonders why a history course wouldn't begin with earlier works, such as Rousseau's 1762 work Emile or perhaps Horace Mann's 1855 Lectures on Education. Then again, as Audrey Watters notes, it's better than "Sal Khan’s History of Education that leaves out the entire twentieth century and the contributions of progressive education."

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