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Educational Wastelands

In 1952, Arthur Bestor, a professor of history at the University of Illinois, submitted a series of resolutions to the American Historical Association contending that educational theorists and school administrators devised programs of teacher training that degraded academic subjects. A year later, Bestor published these complaints in his book Educational Wastelands. Although Bestor's criticisms fit the views of conservative citizen's groups who disliked the progressive influences in schools, Bestor distanced himself from such reactionaries. As a young student, he had attended Lincoln School of Teachers College, Columbia University, one of the most progressive secondary schools in the country. Praising many of his former teachers, Bestor approved of the genuinely thoughtful progressive education he had received; however, he was disappointed when the faculty had introduced a ...

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