Sputnik American Education In The 1980s

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This investigation will examine the question: “To what extent did the launch of Sputnik 1 positively impact the education in the United States between 1957 and 1975?” Sources such as historical texts, books, online journal articles, and governmental addresses will be used in the process of this investigation to examine the positive impact of Sputnik 1 on American education. Source A is a primary source—a discussion on education from Vice President Richard Nixon, chosen to examine the government reaction to the launch of Sputnik 1. Source B is a secondary source—a book on the 1960s, chosen for examining the public reaction to Sputnik 1 and educational reform after the launching of Sputnik 1. The first evaluated source is a discussion on education …show more content…

David Farber is the author or editor of three additional books on the 1960s and both David Farber and Beth Bailey are professors of American history at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, which suggests that the authors are well-acquainted and knowledgeable on the topic of post-Sputnik American education. It is important to note that because of the date of publication, 2001, Farber and Bailey’s book is a secondary source; which indicates that it offers different perspective, analysis, and conclusion on the 1960s. However, because it is a book published in 2001, is it unknown whether or not the authors had first-hand experience with the topics they were writing about—which could affect their particular school of thought or …show more content…

The years of school completed by people 25 years and older increased from an average of 10 years in the 1960s to 12 and a half in the 1970s. The total amount of American people who had completed four years of high school steadily increased from 41.1% in 1960 to 52.3% in 1970. These figures indicate that the mentality of the American people (including women and other minority groups) changed from a negative view on continued education to a positive view on continued education and graduating.
In conclusion, the launch of Sputnik and the start of the space race (1957-1975) positively impacted American education by changing American mentality about education, changing the effectiveness of the curriculum, facilitating learning, and improving the quality of education. Sputnik can therefore be seen as responsible for a number of significant changes in American education as well as influencing the Americans directly to begin the space race and advance intellectually to surpass the Soviet

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