Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2016 Issue »

    The Origins of Classroom Deliberation

    Education in the Shadow of Totalitarianism, 1938–1960

    THOMAS D. FALLACE
    Many theorists of democratic education assume that the idea of having students deliberate about social issues in the classroom can be traced directly to the student-centered and reform-oriented ideals of interwar educational theorists such as John Dewey and Harold Rugg. However, in this intellectual history, Thomas D. Fallace argues that classroom deliberation as it is currently conceived emerged in part out of a backlash against the interwar ideology and epistemology that took place between 1938 and 1960, when democratic theorists rejected any commitment to ideology because such commitments were considered dangerous in a world falling prey to totalitarianism. As a result, leading educational theorists reoriented the focus on teaching social issues in the classroom away from the transmission of ideological subject matter toward deliberative skills, scientific thinking, open-ended inquiry, and consensus building, representing a major reorientation in civic education that largely continues to this day. 

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    Thomas D. Fallace is a professor of education in the Department of Secondary and Middle School Education at William Paterson University of New Jersey. His research focuses on curriculum history, social studies education, and the history of ideas. He is the author of The Emergence of Holocaust Education in American Schools (PalgaveMacmillan, 2008), Dewey and the Dilemma of Race (Teachers College Press, 2012), and Race and the Origins of Progressive Education, 1880–1929 (Teachers College Press, 2015). He is currently working on a book manuscript that traces how American educational ideas and policies were shaped by fears of authoritarianism abroad.
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    Winter 2016 Issue

    Abstracts

    Brown Bodies and Xenophobic Bullying in US Schools
    Critical Analysis and Strategies for Action
    MONISHA BAJAJ, AMEENA GHAFFAR-KUCHER, AND KARISHMA DESAI
    The Origins of Classroom Deliberation
    Education in the Shadow of Totalitarianism, 1938–1960
    THOMAS D. FALLACE
    Hip-Hop Citizens
    Arts-Based, Culturally Sustaining Civic Engagement Pedagogy
    PAUL J. KUTTNER
    Teaching Mathematics for Spatial Justice
    Beyond a Victory Narrative
    LAURIE H. RUBEL,MAREN HALL-WIECKERT, AND VIVIAN Y. LIM
    Grade Repetition and Primary School Dropout in Uganda
    SARAH KABAY

    Book Notes

    Data Literacy for Educators
    Ellen B. Mandinach and Edith S. Gummer

    Transforming the Academy
    Edited by Sarah Willie-LeBreton