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Intro

edX: Saving Schools, Mini-Course 1: History and Politics of U.S. Education

 with  Paul E. Peterson

This mini-course seeks to answer the following question: How did a school system, once the envy of the world, stumble so that the performance in math, science, and reading of U.S. students at age 15 fell below that of students in a majority of the world’s industrialized nations?

Exploring that question, we identify the personalities and historical forces—the progressives, racial desegregation, legalization and collective bargaining—that shaped and re-shaped U.S. school politics and policy. We visit the places where new ideas and practices were spawned, and we look at some of their unanticipated consequences.

In the three subsequent mini-courses, we seek answers to a second question: What are the best ways of lifting the performance of American schools to a higher level? To explore these questions, we look at ideas and proposals of those who want to save our schools—be it by reforming the teaching profession, holding schools accountable, or giving families more school choices. In interviews with reform proponents and independent experts, we capture the intensity of the current debate. In the end, we do not find any silver bullets that can magically lift schools to a new level of performance, but we do pinpoint the pluses and minuses of many new approaches. These three subsequent mini-courses will launch later in the fall and continue into 2016.

Each mini-course contains five to eight lectures, with each lecture containing approximately three videos. The mini-courses also include assigned readings, discussion forums, and assessment opportunities.

This is the first mini-course in a four-course sequence.


HarvardX requires individuals who enroll in its courses on edX to abide by the terms of the edX honor code. HarvardX will take appropriate corrective action in response to violations of the edX honor code, which may include dismissal from the HarvardX course; revocation of any certificates received for the HarvardX course; or other remedies as circumstances warrant. No refunds will be issued in the case of corrective action for such violations. Enrollees who are taking HarvardX courses as part of another program will also be governed by the academic policies of those programs.

HarvardX pursues the science of learning. By registering as an online learner in an HX course, you will also participate in research about learning. Read our research statement to learn more.

Harvard University and HarvardX are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the community is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination or harassment in our program. All members of the HarvardX community are expected to abide by Harvard policies on nondiscrimination, including sexual harassment, and the edX Terms of Service. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact harvardx@harvard.edu and/or report your experience through the edX contact form.

3 Student
reviews
Cost Free Online Course
Pace Self Paced
Institution Harvard University
Provider edX
Language English
Hours 3 hours a week
Calendar 7 weeks long

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MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
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3 reviews for edX's Saving Schools, Mini-Course 1: History and Politics of U.S. Education

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
David Garfinkel partially completed this course, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
The first few lectures give a basic history of american education. The presentation of the class was lacking, and I wasn't a big fan of the dialogue format, especially since some of the students were stiff. Became too broad based in the fourth week and I stopped being interested. I have no plan to take the succeeding MOOCs in the series, which are going to be more policy analysis.
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
Teddy Kelemwork completed this course.
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
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Teresa Tse completed this course.
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