“The Shame of American Education” Redux

Robin Rumph, Chris Ninness, Glen McCuller, James Holland, Todd Ward, Tiffany Willbourn


Skinner’s classic article is reinterpreted in light of contemporary events. Skinner principally blamed cognitive psychology for the shameful state of American education. This paper asserts it is the philosophy of progressive education and its dominant influence over how teachers are trained are largely the cause of American educational ineffectiveness. The authors analyze progressive education and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) using organizational, metacontingency, and macrocontingency analysis. The authors support NCLB’s and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s (IDEA) emphasis on science-based pedagogy as a step in the right direction.


progressive education, metacontingency, macrocontingency, NCLB, IDEA, pedagogy

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/bsi.v16i1.399

Published by the University of Illinois at Chicago Library

And Behaviorists for Social Responsibility