THE AMIDON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL by Carl F. Hansen

THE AMIDON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Amidon Elementary school in Washington, D.C. has already proved that children can and do respond to challenging academic work, and that the majority are eager to learn and capable of assimilating far more at a younger age. To the accusations and howls of the progressivists, Carl Hansen, Superintendent and originator of Amidon, fought the loaded epithet. Amidon was not a ""return to anything"". Instead, it was a move forward combining the best formulas of both educational approaches. In this account of Amidon's operational principles and practical organization, the reader is allowed more than a glimpse at a refreshing oasis in the desert of know-nothing-but-the-child-ism. The ten fundamental issues facing education today -- academic subjects or activity units, a preplanned or pupil-teacher planned curriculum, phonics or look-and-say reading techniques, etc. --are outlined and dealt with in an opening theoretical discussion. How the school was organized, how the teachers were selected and the curriculum determined set the theories into motion. A full appraisal of the experiment in terms of comparison with the District of Columbia system, pupil, parent and teacher evaluations and the results of achievement tests indicated the all around effectiveness of a bold, brave move. This is a factual report, not to be confused with the philosophical exploration of Max Hafferty's Suffer Little Children (p. 304) -- but of vital interest to educators and parents.

Pub Date: May 18th, 1962
Publisher: Prentice-Hall