Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

American Studies

Major Professor

Daniel M. Belgrad, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert E. Snyder, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elaine Y. Smith, Ph.D.


Dewey, secondary, education, Conant, Cubberley


Alexander James Inglis was the key contributor to changes enacted in education during the Progressive era. He instituted an administrative and curricular hierarchy in order to create social organization during a chaotic time in American history, thus advancing professionalism in teaching and systematizing a future workforce - teaching previously had no standards, and throngs of immigrants overwhelmed the school system. While necessary at the time, this system of centralization, homogenization, and sorting continues to result in exclusion in secondary education and middle schools. Categorization is Inglis' hallmark in his work in education, following Frederick W. Taylor's managerial practices, and he influenced Ellwood P. Cubberley and James B. Conant. Using John Dewey's words - but with different meanings and purposes - Inglis and his associates reworked education in a way that made the state responsible for choosing academic or vocational training for pupils despite family objections. Michel Foucault reveals the control techniques used by schools: the examination, normalizing judgment, and hierarchical observation. These parallel Inglis' categorizing standards.