American Education 1940s & 1950s

Karsyn Thomas and Bailee Harville

Main Points

The baby boom was a huge thing during the 1940-1950's. This was when a lot of babies were being born because people were coming home from war.

America vs. Soviet Union, Congress

In 1958, congress passed the National Defense Education Act. The act made money available to improve science equipment for public and private schools to provide college scholarships and student loans. This encouraged schools to strengthen their math, science, and foreign language instruction. The science, math, and foreign language education improved. This also started homework requirements to increase due to the spur of learning.

Brown v. Board of Education

The court ruled that racial segration of schools violated the constitution, because segrated schools were, by nature, unequal. In result public schools were ordered to desegrate, others used delay tactics. This led to the Civil Rights Movement.


B.F. Skinners behaviorism, Skinner's book science and human behavior was published in 1953. Teachers in the 1950's believed that by controlling the classroom environment and experienced, they could produce educated, well-behaved students. They focused on controlling the classroom environment and experiences. Appropriate behavior and achievement were rewarded. Students were given gold stars for good behavior. Punishments were common, it was widely accepted. This has influenced American education for decades.