Readers Guide to Education

An introduction to some publications that have shaped the field of education.


Education constitutes a distinct academic field of study with a strong and vibrant “knowledge base.” This exhibition introduces readers to significant, influential, and controversial books from the field. It is our hope that Museum patrons will seek out and read these works for themselves and, equally importantly, engage in discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of these books’ suggestions for educational change.


An Introduction to the Readers’ Guide to Education project


Ideology and Curriculum
by Michael Apple, 1979

Teacher as Stranger
by Maxine Greene, 1973


The Educational Imagination
by Elliot W. Eisner, 1979

Affirming Diversity
by Sonia Nieto, 1992


Curriculum Theorizing:
The Reconceptualists

by William Pinar (editor), 1975


Literature as Exploration
by Louise M. Rosenblatt, 1938


Photos by Mundo Images


By organizing a 20th century book exhibition, the Museum wishes not to generate a “great books” roster for the field of education nor to canonize a definitive array of books that every education professor and student should know. We wish to explore what publications defined our field and, in so doing, examine those books that have shaped (for good or bad) our values in education. We are inspired by Dewey’s closing statement in A Common Faith, “Ours is the responsibility of conserving, transmitting, rectifying, and expanding the heritage of values.” Museums conserve and transmit; we seek to rectify and expand our Readers’ Guide by underscoring not only acclaimed and popular works but, also, those books that have proven significant and insightful without achieving widespread recognition.

From the outset, we were inspired by the positive reception to The New York Public Library’s Books of the Century which grew out of the library’s exhibition celebrating its centennial. Displaying works selected to “recall this past century and its tremendous changes . . . [Books of the Century] drew on the enthusiasm and love of books . . . of the institution’s librarians.” Similarly, our exhibitions, stemming from a love of books, provide an opportunity to generate discourse, controversy, and reflection about education writings, the type of dialogue that is mostly absent in our field.

Readers’ Guide to Education
An introduction to some publications that have shaped the field of education.

Washington, B. T., Up From Slavery (1901)
Du Bois, W. E. B., The Souls of Black Folk (1903)
Dewey, J., How We Think (1910); Democracy and Education (1916); Experience and Education (1938)
Thorndike, E. L., Educational Psychology (1913/1914)
McCall, W. A., How to Measure in Education (1922)
Charters, W. W., Curriculum Construction (1923)
and Bobbitt, F., How to Make a Curriculum (1924)
Kilpatrick, W. H., Foundations of Method (1925)
Bagley, W. C., Determinism in Education (1925)
Morrison, H. C., The Practice of Teaching in the Secondary School (1926)
Rugg, H., The Foundations and Technique of Curriculum-Construction (1926/1930)
Counts, G. S., Dare the School Build a New Social Order? (1932)
Waller, W. W., Sociology of Teaching (1932)
Woodson, C. G., The Mis-Education of the Negro (1933)
Curti, M., Social Ideas of American Educators (1935)
Judd, C. H., Education as the Cultivation of the Higher Mental Processes (1936)
Bode, B. H., Democracy as a Way of Life (1937)
Rosenblatt, L. M., Literature as Exploration (1938)
Commission on Secondary School Curriculum, Science in General Education (1938)
Fawcett, H. P., Nature of Proof (1938)
Class of 1938, University High School, Were We Guinea Pigs? (1938) and Willis, M., Guinea Pigs After 20 Years (1961)
Benjamin, H. R. W., The Saber-Tooth Curriculum (1939)
Thayer, V. T., C. B. Zachry, and R. Kotinsky, Reorganizing Secondary Education (1939)
Zachry, C. B., Emotion and Conduct in Adolescence (1940)
Sanchez, G. I., Forgotten People (1940)
Barzun, J., Teacher in America (1945)
Harvard Committee, General Education in a Free Society (1945)
Havighurst, R. J., Developmental Tasks and Education (1948)
Quillen, I. J. and L. A. Hanna, Education for Social Competence (1948)
Tyler, R. W., Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction (1949)
Taba, H., Elementary Curriculum in Intergroup Relations (1950)
Bestor, Jr., A. E., Educational Wastelands (1953)
Bloom, B. S., et al., Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Cognitive (1956), Affective (1964)
Zirbes, L., Spurs to Creative Teaching (1959)
Conant, J. B., American High School Today (1959)
Goodman, P., Growing Up Absurd (1960)
Bruner, J. S., The Process of Education (1960)
Cremin, L. A., Transformation of the School (1961)
Alberty, H. B., and E.J. Alberty Reorganizing the High School Curriculum (1962)
Callahan, R. E., Education and the Cult of Efficiency (1962)
Mager, R. F., Preparing Instructional Objectives (1962)
Krug, E. A., The Shaping of the American High School (1964)
Coleman, J. S., Equality of Educational Opportunity (1966)
Jackson, P. W., Life in Classrooms (1968)
Smith, L. M. and W. Geoffrey, The Complexities of an Urban Classroom (1968)
Silberman, C. E., Crisis in the Classroom (1970)
Sarason, S. B., The Culture of the School/Problem of Change (1971)
Greene, M., Teacher as Stranger (1973)
Dunkin, M. J. and B. J. Biddle, The Study of Teaching (1974)
Tyack, D. B., One Best System (1974)
Lortie, D. C., Schoolteacher (1975)
Pinar, W. F., editor, Curriculum Theorizing (1975)
Bowles, S. and H. Gintis, Schooling in Capitalist America (1976)
Apple, M. W., Ideology and Curriculum (1979)
Eisner, E. W., The Educational Imagination (1979)
Chapman, L. H., Instant Art, Instant Culture (1982)
Cronbach, L., Designing Evaluations of Education and Social Programs (1982)
Gardner, H., Frames of Mind (1983)
Lawrence Lightfoot, S., The Good High School (1983)
Sizer, T. R., Horace’s Compromise (1984)
Goodlad, J. I., A Place Called School (1984)
Oakes, J., Keeping Track (1985)
Kliebard, H., The Struggle for the American Curriculum (1986)
Anderson, J. D., The Education of Blacks in the South (1988)
Giroux, H., Teachers as Intellectuals (1988)
Bullough, R. V., Jr., First Year Teacher (1989)
Rose, M., Lives on the Boundary (1990)
Kozol, J., Savage Inequalities (1991)
Graham, P. A., S.O.S.: Sustain Our Schools (1992)
Nieto, S., Affirming Diversity (1992)
Noddings, N., The Challenge to Care in Schools (1992)
Ayers, W., To Teach (1993)
Denzin, N. and E. Lincoln, Handbook of Qualitative Research (1994)
Ladson-Billings, G., The Dreamkeepers (1994)
Berliner, D. C. and B. J. Biddle, The Manufactured Crisis (1995)
Delpit, L., Other People’s Children (1995)
Meier, D., The Power of Their Ideas (1995)
Tyack, D. and L. Cuban, Tinkering toward Utopia (1995)
AAUW, How Schools Shortchange Girls (1995)
Molnar, A., Giving Kids the Business (1996)
Nord, W. A., Religion and American Education (1996)
Darling-Hammond, L., The Right to Learn (1997)
Lehmann, N., The Big Test (1999)
Valenzuela, A., Substractive Schooling (1999)

“To list is to exclude,” and we knew we would insult many by not including certain beloved works. Initially, our list grew to well over 300 books. Practical realities––research and design/framing staff time, exhibition space, scheduling, and budgets––demanded focus. Ultimately, nominations were narrowed during subsequent conversations with selection panelists. This process clarified for us the value of our project: to initiate discussions about texts “for the love of books” rather than to dispute the injustices of selections.


an institutional member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience