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May 17 2019 - 01:18pm
Today in History: Remembering Harold Ordway Rugg
Harold_O_Rugg_PKNot once in a century and a half of national history has the curriculum of the school caught up with the dynamic content of American life. Whether of colonial reading or reckoning school, Latin grammar school, academy, or modern junior high school, the curriculum has lagged behind the current civilization. Although the gap between the two has been markedly cut down in the last three-quarters of a century, nevertheless the American school has been essentially academic. Today, much of the gap persists. -- Harold O. Rugg, "The School Curriculum and the Drama of American Life", Teachers College Record, Volume 28 Number 9, 1927, p.3) On May 17th, 1960, Harold Ordway Rugg, long-time Professor in the Department of Social and Philosophical Foundations at Teachers College, Columbia University died. Rugg was an influential educational reformer and one of the best-known educators during the Progressive Education Movement. Trained as an engineer and educational psychologist, he co-founded the National Council for the Social Studies and became a prolific writer of curriculum. He authored a series of Social Science Pamphlets and an impactful social studies textbooks series for grades one through eight that drew extensive controversy in being viewed as pro-socialist, communist, or anti-capitalist. The son of a carpenter, Harold Rugg was born May 17th, 1886 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He earned a BA and Masters' in civil engineering from Dartmouth College. He taught at Milliken University before pursuing a doctorate in education from the University of Illinois. He taught at the University of Chicago before moving on to Teachers College, Columbia University in 1920 where he remained until his retirement in 1951. His book The Child-Centered School: An Appraisal of the New Education (Yonkers on Hudson: World Book Company, c1928), co-written by Ann Shumaker  spoke to the importance of child-centered curriculum and social reconstruction. The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning. Tips:
  • Harold Rugg Faculty File -- includes a vitae, correspondences, memorandum,  and Rugg's analysis of the attack on the textbooks he published
  • Harold O Rugg Collection --includes digitalized curriculum materials, including textbooks, workbooks, and courses of study
  • Books by Harold O Rugg held at the Gottesman Libraries
  • Harold Rugg, Courtesy of Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Special Slide, Courtesy of Edlab Studies
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