School: The Story of American Public Education: Curriculum Guide
Academic subject areas: History/Social Sciences; Career-Technical Education; Career Exploration
States' Career Clusters: Education & Training
California Industry sector(s): Education, Child Development, and Family Services
Grade Targets: 11, 12, Post high school
Levels of Expertise for CTE: Capstone/Advanced, Concentration/Skill building
Standards Addressed: Connected to Common Core, State and/or Industry Standards
U.S. History Content Standards
Keywords: education, tracking, desegregation
Source: Organization/Publisher-developed Credit: Written by Kim Nesta Archung, Emory University and produced by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
Curriculum Link: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/publicschool/get_involved/aacte.html
Related Website(s): http://www.pbs.org/kcet/publicschool/index.html, http://www.pbs.org/kcet/publicschool/
This guide is for use with “School”, a 4-part documentary on the U.S. public education system from the late 1770s to the 21st century. SCHOOL recaptures the idealism of the early proponents of public education and examines the challenges educators face today. The curriculum guide is intended to help both in teaching the historical content and to assist instructors in stimulating class dialogue to explore issues introduced in the series.
Expected Student Outcomes/Objectives
Students will become familiar with the evolution of U.S. public schools and the impact of public education on American society, and will grapple with some of the key issues that have shaped U.S. public education.
The guide outlines for each of the four episodes 1) common or recurring themes, 2) various scholar perspectives, 3) key topics, and 4) focus questions. The guide is intended to help instructors teach the content presented in the series and to stimulate class dialogue and further explore topics introduced in the series.
*Schools defining and shaping American life—the relationship between school
organization and the Constitution
*The meaning and practice of democracy through the organization and mission of
*Control of schools (local community vs. state and federal government)
*Challenges of growing student enrollment
*Issues of nationhood and citizenship
*Public schools as the battleground for issues related to racial, ethnic, religious, and
- Growth of immigrant populations – Americanization and assimilation
- Segregated vs. integrated education for African Americans, Native Americans,
Latinos, and Asian Americans
- Student achievement
- Relationship between schools and organized religion—religious issues forming
the core of the American fabric, the separation of religion and state
- Role of women in the development of teaching as a profession (pay, moral
example, the development of system hierarchies)
*School costs and expenditures
*School reform efforts and conflict surrounding innovation and experimentation
*Standardization of school structure (length of school year), pedagogy, curriculum,
Instructional Materials Needed
School: The Story of American Public Education, available from Films for the Humanities & Sciences
PO Box 2053
Princeton, NJ 08543-2053
If using the interactive material available on the website, students will need access to computers and the internet.
Instructional Materials Provided
Overview of each section, themes addressed and perspectives represented plus focus questions to guide student discussion, as well as references.
PBS website for the film has many interactive resources on the history of education.
Curriculum Guide is Free Video costs $679.80 Many brief segments are available on PBS website as streaming video for free.