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Crisis in the Classroom

Written for both the professional educator and the layperson, Crisis in the Classroom: The Remaking of American Education, published in 1970, brought national attention to the problems of schooling and introduced the term mindlessness that quickly became a common criticism of educational programming. Charles Silberman's critique of the (repressive) elementary school curriculum was surpassed by his assessment of the secondary school program—a curriculum that instilled passivity and conformity—and that of the middle school or junior high, which he described as a wasteland of U.S. education. From the perspective of curriculum studies, educational programs were called upon to achieve more than relevance and high test scores. Silberman captured the attention of U.S. society with the thought and hope that a public dialogue (in a Deweyan sense ...

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