Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


When we hear the expression "education reform" we naturally assume the speaker is concerned with making schools better. But better how? What problems or difficulties are to be solved or addressed? Can they be solved or adequately addressed? What is the purpose of public education in today's society? Who should decide this and how? The purpose of this thesis project review is to deepen understanding of the major positions taken on the above issues by sampling some of the most influential, and often controversial, educators, social critics, and philosophers of the 20th century. The project is not intended to be a comprehensive review, but merely a starting point for future study and consideration as a means to increase knowledge of the history of educational theory and become more conversant in the epistemologies of various pedagogical approaches. The process for selecting authors to be read for the review was not scientific and may not be viewed as a "balanced" sample, depending on the experience, interests and biases of the reader. Selections for the review include writers on education who appear as the most politically and philosophically polarizing in the debate over the purpose of education. The project is separated into five sections which include reading summaries of the various authors diagnosis of relevant educational issues, underlying philosophies, and analysis with regard to New York State Standards.


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