Exhibit 2011--Cold War in the Classroom

In 1956, the head of the Atomic Energy Commission, Lewis Strauss, declared that the United States was waging a "Cold War of the Classroom" against the Soviet Union. By the mid-1950s, it was increasingly evident among politicians and national leaders that global supremacy was not simply a matter of military prowess. The United States would also need to train generations of Americans capable of defending and promoting the values of the "free" world. Such sentiments turned the nation's classrooms into a Cold War crucible, forging citizens with the habits, virtues and skills required to successfully confront a range of intellectual, moral, and political challenges.

Cold War in The Classroom uses archival film, photographs, models, laboratory demonstrations, and period textbooks to explore the meaning and nature of scientific pedagogy during this unique period in American and world history. Guest curators Jeremy Blatter and Christopher Phillips have transformed the CHSI Special Exhibitions Gallery into a mid-century classroom that tells the story of a nation with a mission, one in which science education became a crucial weapon of politics and society.

Sign on