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Reaffirming the
The committee of Ten
◎ influenced by Charles Eliot and William Harris.
◎ wanted the traditional curriculum to remain intact
◎ the committee adopted Eliot’s plan to reduce
elementary grades from 10 to 8 and stressed the
three R’s.
The Committee of Fifteen
◎ Chaired by Eliot, most influential of the three
◎ Identified nine academic subjects as central to the
high school curriculum. (Latin, Greek, English, other
modern languages, mathematics, physical sciences,
natural history or biological sciences, social science,
and geography, geology, and meteorology
◎ The committee ignored art, music, physical education,
and vocational education, believed that these
contributed little to mental discipline.
The Committee on College entrance

◎ reaffirmed the dominance of college-preparatory

curriculum in high schools, emphasizing college-
admission requirements and classical subjects.
◎ the committee recommended strengthening the
college-preparatory aspect of the high school
curriculum and made recommendations regarding the
number of credits required in different subjects for
college admission.
Harris & Eliot:
Two Conservative
William T. Harris (1834–

◎ Born on September 10, 1835

◎ Died on November 5, 1909

◎ The former St. Louis of

education (1868 – 1881)

◎ U.S. Commissioner of
Education (1889 – 1906)
◎ A traditionalist who subscribed to McGuffey’s moralism and
Mann’s faith in free public school.

◎ He saw schools as an extension of society, not as agents of


◎ Advocated a traditional curriculum;

a mix of essentialism & perennialism.
◉ Resisted the idea of a vocational and practical

◉ Believed that;
- students should work with their minds, not with
their hands.

- poor children should get the same opportunity as

wealthy children.
Charles W. Eliot

◎ Born on March 20, 1834

◎ August 22, 1926 (aged 92)
◎ American academic who was
selected as Harvard's
president in 1869.
◎ served for 40 years, having
the longest term as president
in the university's history.
◎ He argued that:
◉ as late as the 1890s, 80% of U.S. colleges and
universities had to organize their own preparatory high
schools because public high schools were doing an
inadequate job.
◉ more than 80% of eligible youth did not attend high
◎ Eliot stated that there was a huge difference in purpose
and quality between the elementary school and the
◎ Eliot suggest that:
◉ The curriculum had to be reconstruct
◉ pedagogical methods had to be changed
◎ Eliot believed that elementary children were capable of
pursuing subjects such as algebra, physics & foreign
Civilize Society - Eliot
the managing, leading, guiding class:
the intellectual discoverers,
the inventors, the organizers, and the

highly trained hand-workers class:

skilled manual labour
commercial class:
consisting of those who engage in buying,
selling, and distributing
a large
class engaged in household work,
agriculture, mining, quarrying, and
◎ Eliot argued for vocational and trade schools separate from
high schools.
◎ Elementary school teachers should sort children into tracks
according to their abilities
◎ 1910 – NEA’s Committee promoted “manual
activities” at elementary level for some high

◎ 1917 – Smith-Hughes Act provided federal aid for

vocational educations related to agriculture,
home economics and the trades.
◎ Jane Addams, Dewey and Kilpatrick would see the
promotion of vocational education as hindering
democratic common school movement.

◎ Michael Apple, Alfie Kohn, and Jeannie Oaks would

similarly argue that working-class students were
being placed in nonacademic vocational programs.
Vocational Education Enrolment
◎ Vocational education has recently crept back into the
national discourse under the term CTE, growing
college debt, high school disengagements and
demand for “middle-skill” jobs.

◎ Given the growth of electronic and health—related

industries, CTE is seeing promise but requires major
Pressure for a
Modern Curriculum
Flexner : A Modern Curriculum

- Latin should no longer be compulsory as

he said there was “no purpose”.

- 4 basics : a) science b) industry c) civics

d) aesthetics
Dewey : Pragmatic and Scientific
Principles of Education

- emphasis on science as it gives

rational inquiry

- traditional subjects were no

valuable than music and art.
Judd : Systematic Studies and Social

- use statistical research the

worth of curriculum content

* Ralph Tyler, Franklin Bobbit &

Hilda Taba
Commission on the reorganization
of secondary education

◎ Education should promote 7 aims :

a) health b) command of the fundamentals c) membership
d) vocation e) citizenship f) leisure g) ethical character.
◎ High should have comprehensive institution.
◎ High school curricula should meet varied student needs.
◎ Current education psychology should be applied to secondary
◎ U.S. educational instructions should function in conjunction with
one another.