Open to Innovation
On May 3, 1971, Newsweek magazine's cover story explored the "joy and excitement" of an educational movement that had burst into the national consciousness with the publication of Charles E. Silberman's Crisis in the Classroom .
Like numerous other critics writing at the time, Silberman decried what he saw as the repressive, grim, and joyless character of many classrooms. The antidote, he believed, was to be found in "open education," a relaxed style of elementary schooling imported from Britain that in the late 1960s had begun to capture the attention of American educators.
"In hundreds of grade schools, the familiar sight of children seated at measured rows of desks, studying from standardized textbooks and listening to a teacher's precise directions, has disappeared," Newsweek reported. " Instead, children wander through their classrooms like free souls—sprawling on the floor to read library books that they themselves have chosen, studying mathematics by learning how to cope with family food bills, chattering and painting...
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