June 06, 2014

Early Primer

An early reading primer. Credit: Liz West / Flickr Creative Commons

As the Cold War raged in the 1950s, Americans grew increasingly concerned about children’s literacy.

Was our education system up to snuff? Allowing us to compete - and surpass - the Soviets?

Traditional books - featuring Dick and Jane - got slammed for being repetitive and uninspiring. Experts wondered if understanding words phonetically made more sense than endless drills.

But who would replace Dick and Jane?

Find out which famous troublemaker started a rhyming legacy that continues to this day.  Listen to the whole story, above.

Cold War, Education, Culture

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