Main articles: History of education, History of education in the United States § Historiography, and History of childhood care and education

For much of the 20th century, the dominant American historiography, as exemplified by Ellwood Patterson Cubberley (1868-1941) at Stanford, emphasized the rise of American education as a powerful force for literacy, democracy, and equal opportunity, and a firm basis for higher education and advanced research institutions. It was a story of enlightenment and modernization triumphing over ignorance, cost-cutting, and narrow traditionalism whereby parents tried to block their children's intellectual access to the wider world. Teachers dedicated to the public interest, reformers with a wide vision, and public support from the civic-minded community were the heroes. The textbooks help inspire
Main articles: History of education, History of education in the United States § Historiography, and History of childhood care and education For much of the 20th century, the dominant American historiography, as exemplified by Ellwood Patterson Cubberley (1868-1941) at Stanford, emphasized the rise of American education as a powerful force for literacy, democracy, and equal opportunity, and a firm basis for higher education and advanced research institutions. It was a story of enlightenment and modernization triumphing over ignorance, cost-cutting, and narrow traditionalism whereby parents tried to block their children's intellectual access to the wider world. Teachers dedicated to the public interest, reformers with a wide vision, and public support from the civic-minded community were the heroes. The textbooks help inspire
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