An Educational War on Poverty: American and British Policy-Making, 1960-1980

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Education was a critical focus of the "war on poverty" declared by President Johnson in 1964. U.S. policy built on research, and experiments being conducted in the early 1960s produced major programs such as the preschool Head Start and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 1965. In this major transatlantic study two senior educationalists examine both these developments and similar processes in Britain—notably the Plowden report of 1967. The Silvers examine the shift of attention in Britain from social class and the secondary school to poverty and the primary and preschool stage, and use extensive archive and interview material to analyze in depth transatlantic interactions, similarities, and differences in systems and policies. An Educational War on Poverty makes a substantial contribution to recent social and educational history, of interest both to scholars and policy makers, not least for its two large-scale national bibliographies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In a landscape crowded with self-proclaimed education presidents and governors, this book should be required reading. Harold and Pamela Silver, the authors of numerous works on educational policy toward the disadvantaged, have produced a well-written account detailing U.S. and British debates on how education could address the poverty issue in each nation...this book is essential reading to anyone who wishes to better understand the successes and failures in Britain and the United States, if only to chart where we might go in the future." Social Science Quarterly

"The Silvers have written a marvelous book, recreating the tensions and aspirations of a generation of policy analysts and reformers in the two countries....if one wants to relook at the origins of the educational war on poverty, this is the place to start." Marvin Lazerson, Historical Studies in Education

"The book is in the finest tradition of comparative public policy research. It also serves as a reminder, to those of us who tend to concentrate on single-nation studies, how valuable such comparative studies can be....the volume is an extremely valuable resource that readers will return to on numerous occasions." John F. Witte, American Political Science Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521381499
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/26/1991
  • Pages: 460
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; 1. Introduction: a proper complexity; Part I. A Pattern Of Events: United States: 2. Poverty and education: changing concerns and concepts; 3. Education: children and intervention; 4. Learning their way out of poverty?; 5. Education and the prime target; 6. An effort to understand; Part II. A Pattern Of Events: Britain: 7. Advancing from poverty?; 8. Opportunity, equality and social class; 9. Sounds and silences; 10. Plowden: direction finding; 11. Plowden: making choices; Part III. Following Through: 12. United States: planned and unplanned variation; 13. Britain: units of concern; 14. Directions; Interviews and consultation; Bibliography; Index.

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