A highpoint in U.S. concern over education, the 1980s was a decade awash in reports lamenting the fundamental unpreparedness of the schools for new global economic challenges. 1984 saw the publication of a rather different, if equally fundamental, rethinking of schooling: Theodore (Ted) Sizer's Horace's Compromise: The Dilemma of the American High School. The first fruit of the 5-year, collaborative Study of High Schools, Horace's Compromise signaled a new era in curriculum studies and school reform. Sizer vividly illustrated how the cart of school structure had gotten in front of the horse of curriculum and pedagogy, reminding us to begin with the essential questions: What needs to be learned, and how can we support teachers and students to do this work?

Sizer introduces his critique of ...

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