Education: Civic Experiment

It was as if the twelve-year-olds had never really seen their home town before. For weeks, they had peered and poked about Houston like so many junior sociologists in bobby-sox and sneakers. The things they reported were enough to shock some Houstonians. But Social Studies Teacher Marian Hiller of the Stonewall Jackson Junior High School was delighted.

She had sent her seventh-graders out on their sociological expeditions as part of an experiment designed to make Houston's civics classes more interesting and instructive. The kids began by drawing maps of their neighborhoods, comparing the number of churches to the number of bars, counting...

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