“How Sputnik Changed US Education” Kayla Mizelle

“How Sputnik Changed US Education” is an article written by, Alvin Powell in the Harvard Gazette. In this Article, Powell gives a new perspective of how Sputnik changed the US education system. Powell argues that schools in the US felt a sense of urgency to dedicate more time to science and teaching the future generation STEM. He writes, “Several of the changes, such as including hands-on laboratory experience, remain in use today, the speakers said.” These new programs changed education and meant that teachers found a greater necessity in teaching hands-on science labs. He argues that no longer do educators put emphasis on education in liberal arts fields but, now the curriculum is more science-based. He claims that this was a lasting effect on the American school system.

In my opinion, Powell is correct in saying that education changed its focus. When my parents speak of their education to my siblings and I they often tell us how different school is now than it was when they were in school. They often tell us that there were way more people that studied liberal arts fields. My mom majored in English in college and then later went into speech therapy yet she was not thrilled when I told her that I had decided to study history in college. I think this change could someone be attributed to Sputnik and how it shifted the importance in education. If Sputnik had not been launched there would not be the same hurry up in the schools to change the curriculum from liberal arts education based to STEM.

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Powell, Alvin. “How the rest of the world learns about the American Revolution in school.” Quartz, Quartz, 24 July 2015, qz.com/462264/how-the-rest-of-the-world-learns-about-the-american-revolution-in-school/. Accessed 18 Oct. 2017.

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