About this series
Leaders in Educational Studies provides a comprehensive account of the transformation of educational knowledge since 1960, based on rich, first-person accounts of the process by its acknowledged leaders. The series provides unique insights into the formation of the knowledge base in education, as well as a birds-eye view of contemporary educational scholarship. The initial volume, Leaders in Philosophy of Education: Intellectual Self Portraits, contains personal essays by 24 leading philosophers of education from North America and the United Kingdom. The second volume, Leaders in Curriculum Studies: Intellectual Self-Portraits, contains similar essays by 18 leading curriculum scholars. The current volume on historians of American education contains essays by 25 leaders in this field. Volumes on other fields of educational scholarship are now being prepared. Until the 1950s school teachers were trained for the most part in normal schools or teacher training colleges. The instructors were drawn from the teacher corps; they were not professional scholars. Those offering classes in so-called ‘foundational disciplines’ in education were not trained in these disciplines. Educational scholarship was generally weak and cut off from contemporary work in the so-called ‘parent’ disciplines. Professors relied on textbooks featuring out-of-date, dumbed-down knowledge. In the late 1950s plans were made to bring a higher level of professionalism to school teaching. In the United States, the remaining normal schools initially became state colleges, and eventually state universities. In the United Kingdom, the training colleges were initially brought under the supervision of university institutes; eventually teaching was transformed into an all-graduate profession. Commentators on both sides of the Atlantic argued that if education was to become a proper field of university study educational scholarship itself would have to be transformed. Scholars were recruited into educational studies from social sciences and humanities disciplines to contribute to teacher education and to train a new generation of educational scholars in contemporary research methods. Under their influence the knowledge base for education has been completely transformed. In addition to major accomplishments in philosophy, history, sociology and economics of education, interdisciplinary work in educational studies has flourished. The series documents this transformation.