1. How did Holt and Adler's conceptions of curriculum differ? What did each want the curriculum to do?
2. How do the Common Core Standards, adopted by most of the U.S., fit with Holt and Adler’s conceptions?
3. Whom would you prefer as a colleague at your school, Holt or Adler? Why?
4. What difficulties do you perceive with implementing Adler's proposal in the average American high school? Do the Common Core Standards complement or refute Adler’s ideas? How?
5. One of Adler's contentions is that if the intentions of the Paideia Proposal cannot be carried out in schools whose students come from the lower socioeconomic strata, then democracy will die. It is his sincere belief that all students, even the least fortunate, can handle his proposed curriculum. But how legitimate do you believe this hope is when Holt states, "I think that schools and schooling, by their very nature, purposes, structure, and ways of working are, and are meant to be, an obstacle to poor kids, designed and built not to move them up in the world, but to keep them at the bottom of it and to make them think it is their own fault” (Adler,1982)
6. What is the essence of the debate between the process and product proponents? In your opinion, what should the curriculum convey: Process or product? Considering your own experiences as a student, what did the curriculum you encountered convey?
7. Considering the Common Core Standards movement in the U.S., which one of the two viewpoints seems to have a more prominent place in the schools? How can you tell?
Support your statements with evidence from the required studies and your research.


Adler, M. J. (1982) The Paideia proposal: Rediscovering the essence of education. In G. L. Koonce (Ed.), Taking sides: Clashing views on educational issues (18th ed.) (pp.27-30). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Holt, J. (1974). Escape from childhood. In G. L. Koonce (Ed.), Taking sides: Clashing views on educational issues (18th ed.) (pp.31-33). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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Adler desires to create an egalitarian experience for all and to expose all learners to a rich and balanced educational experience regardless of socioeconomic status or location (Adler, 1982). He truly believed that such an education was doable and a responsibility to humanity to equip all learners with the necessary ingredients for a successful livelihood, both academically and personally. Holt on the other hand is fixated on the treatment of young people as “whole individual” and extending to the same respect as adults (Holt, 1974). His stance is ...

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