Education Review-a journal of book reviews
Kliebard devotes the bulk of his book to describing four relatively stable and distinct “interest groups” that competed over seven decades for control of the schools through the curriculum. Humanists embraced “the systematic development of reasoning power” (p. 9) as well as the Western cultural heritage. Developmentalists “proceeded basically from the assumption that the natural order of development in the child was the most significant and scientifically defensible basis for determining what should be taught” (p. 11). Social efficiency educators wanted schools to employ the “scientific management” techniques of supervision, accountability, precise measurement, and efficiency and to differentiate education according to students’ perceived needs, abilities, and probable life courses. Social meliorists wanted to use schooling as a lever for societal progress.