High Schools: A Burst of Reform

When he set out to revamp high school physics in 1956, M.I.T. Physicist Jerrold Zacharias sparked a chain reaction of reform that is beginning to push all U.S. education toward dramatically new ways of learning.

Zacharias' M.I.T.-sponsored Physical Science Study Committee used a simple principle: it got top university scholars to reinterest themselves in high schools, after decades of leaving such tasks as textbook writing to standpat educationists. University physicists, knowing the basic unity of their subject, were shocked at the bits-and-pieces approach of high school texts, and devised a thematic course now used by 30% of all high school...

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