A group of high school students constructs basic measuring devices for testing air, water, noise, and radiation-pollution levels. c. 1972

The Troubles with Tracking

Educators have been debating academic tracking since the early years of the public high school.
Andrew Carnegie (left) and Melvil Dewey (right)

When Melvil Dewey Pursued Andrew Carnegie’s Millions

A clash of library enthusiasts ended with a sexual harassment scandal.
from the cover of Radio-Electronics, June 1949, Volume 20, Number 9

Can Radio Really Educate?

In the 1920s, radio was an exciting new mass medium. It was known for providing entertainment, but educators wondered if it could also be used for education.
Mary McLeod Bethune with a Line of Girls from her School in Daytona Beach, Florida, 1905

How Black Americans Fought for Literacy

From the moment US Army troops arrived in the South, newly freed people sought ways to gain education—particularly to learn to read and write.
Stokely Carmichael, 1973

Stokely Carmichael, Radical Teacher

The civil rights leader who changed his name to Kwame Ture encouraged students in the Mississippi Freedom Schools to think critically.
Illustration: An arithmetic class at a school in London, England. Published in the Illustrated London News, October 3, 1891

Source: Getty

Why Would Parents Oppose Compulsory Education?

In Victorian England, reformers thought all children should go to school. That didn't sit well with everyone—and not just kids.
A line drawing of a girl with a tablet

Does Virtual Learning Work for Every Student?

Given Covid-19, schools have limited options for teaching kids. What’s working and not working in the era of online learning?
Paulo Freire in 1963

Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed at Fifty

The Brazilian educator Paulo Freire’s book, first published in English 50 years ago, urges viewing students as interlocutors or partners in the learning process.
Four top pickers holding barrels of beans. Morrisvile. 1943.

The Brooklyn College Farm Labor Project of the 1940s

The coronavirus pandemic left farmers falling back on students to pick crops. But it certainly wasn’t the first time.
Pee Dee Rosenwald School, Marion County, South Carolina, c. 1935.

How Black Communities Built Their Own Schools

Rosenwald schools, named for a philanthropist, were funded mostly by Black people of the segregated South.