The term cult of efficiency comes from the title of a book published by educational historian Raymond E. Callahan in 1962, Education and the Cult of Efficiency: A Study of the Forces That Have Shaped the Administration of the Public Schools. As the book title implies, its major focus was on the topic of school administration. The curriculum in the early 20th century, and after, was substantively shaped by school administrators, who in many ways impeded improvement of academic study in the schools. Thus, Callahan's study of school administration and school administrators has dramatic and troubling impact on the school curriculum.

Callahan dealt with the business efficiency movement that swept the field of school administration in the early 20th century. He traced its roots to an ...

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