Milestones of Learning


20th century

1902 John Dewey publishes "The Child and the Curriculum." His philosophy of education focuses on learning by doing rather than rote memorization.

1906 China establishes a ministry of education to help modernize its system of schooling. It abolishes an examination system based on Confucian learning and turns to Japan and the West for new models.

1907 Maria Montessori opens her first school in Italy. Many consider her to be the 20th century's leading advocate for early-childhood education.

1925 The debate between evolution and creation peaks with what is known as the Scopes 'monkey trial.' John Scopes, a high school science teacher in Dayton, Tenn., is convicted for teaching the theory of evolution.

1939 School buses start to be painted yellow, making them easier to see in the early morning and late afternoon.

1944 GI Bill of Rights provides payments for tuition, books, and living expenses to American World War II veterans.

1954 In Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the US Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

1957 Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus sends his National Guard to physically prevent nine African-American students from enrolling at Little Rock's all-white Central High School. President Eisenhower responds by sending 1,000 federal troops. Eight of the nine students complete their first year.

1962 US Supreme Court upholds a ban on public-school prayer.

1971 US Supreme Court approves controversial school-busing plans as means of achieving desegregation.

1972 The first e-mail program is created by Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc. in Cambridge, Mass.

1976 Thousands of students in Soweto, one

of South Africa's black townships, rebel against having to be taught in Afrikaans - a symbol of white authority under apartheid. The police shootings of school children during the uprising become a worldwide symbol in the antiapartheid movement.

1985 Partnerships between schools and computer companies emerge, as the personal computer begins to appear in US classrooms.

1994 Proposition 187 passes in California, making it illegal for children of undocumented immigrants to attend public school. Federal courts later rule it unconstitutional.

1996 California's Proposition 209 outlaws affirmative action in public education.

1997 Nearly 8 of every 10 public schools in the nation have access to the Internet, more than double the proportion in 1994.

1998 The voucher movement surges, as more philanthropists and politicians support giving poor children funds to attend private schools in the US. Ted Forstmann and John Walton pledge $100 million toward such scholarships.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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