In the field of curriculum studies, efficiency has come to be seen as the application of business principles to education—an attempt to prevent taxpayer waste while improving the performance of teachers and students. Readers might agree that this is an admirable aim, but many in education feel this desire for efficiency has translated into schools seen as factory plants rather than campuses, teachers viewed as teaching units, students seen as human capital, and learning seen as a product rather than as the acquisition of knowledge. The history of efficiency in education has its roots in the progressive movement of the early 1900s and is in evidence today in the standards and high-stakes testing that is part of accountability in the early 2000s.

Raymond Callahan does ...

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