The third edition ofThe Educational Imaginationemerges in the midst of a fresh new national effort at educational reform. Past efforts have been less than successful. Will the current effort with its emphasis on national goals and measured achievement, on national standards and public report cards, on national curriculum frameworks and national teacher certification standards do the trick or will this reform effort echo the failed efforts of the past? The Educational Imaginationexplores the current state of American education and provides a historical view of earlier efforts to reform our schools. It describes the ideological positions of those who wish to shape the aims and content of school programs in ways that reflect their values. It examines an array of important concepts used in the process of curriculum development and it often questions the premises on which these concepts rest. The major aim of this book is to make problematic what is often taken for granted either because of tradition or because of the attractiveness of new bandwagons rolling down the educational road. Educators, I believe, have a special responsibility to critique prevailing assumptions and proposed practices. To do this well requires a healthy intellectual skepticism, a propensity for critique, and an instructional memory. We need to be able to put new proposals for school improvement into a historical context if we are not to become new Columbuses rediscovering an old world that doesn't work.The Educational Imaginationprovides some of this context. If there is one idea that permeates these pages, it is the belief that no single educational program is appropriate for all children, everywhere, forever. Which educational values are appropriate for children and adolescents depends on the characteristics of those the program is designed to serve, the features of the context in which they live, and the values that they and the community embrace. Further, these values and this context itself is likely to change over time. Looked at this way, the practice of education is a dynamic one, subject to change over time. This means that educators cannot rest with fixed solutions to educational problems or with "breakthroughs" that once and for all define or prescribe how and what should be done. Ours is a practical enterprise, and practical enterprises elude fixed solutions. A word about some of the new features of the third edition ofThe Educational Imagination.A new first chapter addresses the current climate and prevailing policy impacting American schools. These policies rest on premises that deserve careful scrutiny by thoughtful educators. You will find serious questions raised about these policies in Chapter I. The third edition also includes a major replacement of the second edition's chapter on orientations to curriculum. The new chapter, "curriculum Ideologies," is a modified version of a chapter that was prepared forThe Handbook of Research on Curriculum.I have included this chapter because I believe it addresses the issues more broadly, more deeply, and more adequately. A new chapter on assessment has been added to the third edition. The concept of assessment is new in American educational discourse. It represents an effort to develop fresh ways of thinking about what has been historically regarded as "evaluation." The historical background of this development and its implications for practice are examined in this new chapter. In addition to the foregoing, a new example of an educational criticism written by Mary Burchenal has been added to the collection included in the previous edition. This new addition addresses the teaching of English and provides a fine illustration of the kind of writing that can shed light on the subtleties and dilemmas of teaching at the high school level. Finally, numerous small changes were made in virtually all of the chapters, some of fact, others to clElliot W. Eisner is the author of 'The Educational Imagination: On the Design and Evaluation of School Programs (3rd Edition)', published 2001 under ISBN 9780130942876 and ISBN 0130942871.