American education is prone to fads, such as New Math, Roberts English, Denelian Handwriting. These fads sweep the country and then disappear. Why are these fads so readily accepted and then so quickly abandoned? Producer Richard Paul looks into the trend of educational fads. This program is part of our ongoing series on education and technology, and is funded in part by the United States Department of Education.
What's New at School? was produced by Richard Paul. We'd like to thank Tom Lehrer and VH1's "I Love The 70s" for allowing us to use their work.
This 1906 school committee report shows that the problem of fads in education is older than we think.
If you got a giggle out of Tom Lehrer's song featured in this documentary, you can read the lyrics or order CDs here.
What Does it Mean to be a Research-Based Profession?
This report outlines how teachers can distinguish fads from sound educational practice.
An Intrepid Foe of Warm-and-Fuzzy Math
The Washington Post profiles a Virginia math teacher who achieves great results by sticking to the basics.
Introduction to Transformational Grammar
by: Diane D. Bornstein 1984
Transformational Grammar allows students to understand language through theory and relationships rather than structural rules.
Tinkering Toward Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform
by: David Tyack and Larry Cuban 1997
When education reform fails, who's to blame? Teachers, School Boards, or the nature of the educational system its self?
The Flickering Mind: The False Promise of Technology in the Classroom and How Learning Can Be Saved
by: Todd Oppenheimer 2003
Author and journalist Todd Oppenheimer finds that classroom technology does little for students at a high cost.