Mobilizing Minds: Teaching Math and Science in the Age of Sputnik

The Cold War and Sputnik

Collins, Martin, editor, After Sputnik: 50 years of the Space Age, New York: Smithsonian Books/Collins, 2007.

Gavaghan, Helen, Something New Under the Sun: Satellites and the Beginning of the Space Age, New York: Copernicus, 1998.

Green, Eric, An on-line view of several Cold War related objects.

Launius, Roger D., John M. Logsdon and Robert W. Smith, editors, Reconsidering Sputnik: Forty Years since the Soviet Satellite, Australia: Harwood Academic, 2000. "Reflecting on Sputnik: Linking the Past, present, and Future of Educational Reform," Proceedings of a Symposium held at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., October 4, 1997. These papers are presented at:

Sherry, Michael S., In the Shadow of War: The United States since the 1930s, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

Whitfield, Stephen J., The Culture of the Cold War, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.


Hickam, Homer H., Rocket Boys: A Memoir, New York: Delacorte Press, 1998. This volume was republished as October Sky, and a film by that title also appeared.

McCray, W. Patrick, "Amateur Scientists, the International Geophysical Year, and the Ambitions of Fred Whipple," Isis, 97 #4 (December 2006), 634–658.

Movie Clip:

New Moon. Reds Launch First Space Satellite, 1957/10/07. Internet Archive,

Sound recordings:

Billy Mitchell and the Basie-ites, singing "Satellite Beep Bop,"

The Equadors, singing "Sputnik Dance,"

Rock-Krister, singing "Sputnik Rock and Roll,"

The Sputniks, singing "Hey Maryann,"


Clowse, Barbara Barksdale, Brainpower for the Cold War: The Sputnik Crisis and National Defense Education Act of 1958, Westport: Greenwood Press, 1981.

Divine, Robert, The Sputnik Challenge, New York: Oxford, 1993.

Teaching Mathematics and Science in the Home

Cross, Gary, Kid's Stuff: Toys and the Changing World of American Childhood, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Pursell, Carroll, "Toys, Technology, and Sex Roles in America, 1920-1940," in Dynamos and Virgins Revisited: Women and Technological Change in History: An Anthology, ed. Martha Moore Trescott (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1979), 252-267.

Hewitt, Karen, and Louisa Roomet, Educational Toys in America: 1800 to the Present, Burlington, Vermont, Robert Hull Fleming Museum, 1979.

Watson, Bruce, The Man Who Changed How Boys and Toys Were Made, New York: Viking, 2002.

Techniques of Learning - Novelty and Diffusion

Cuban, Larry, Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001.

Kidwell, Peggy Aldrich, Amy Ackerberg-Hastings, and David Lindsay Roberts, Tools of American Mathematics Teaching 1800-2000, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.

Saettler, Paul, The Evolution of American Educational Technology, Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, Inc., 1990.

Curricula - Novelty and Diffusion

American Association of Physics Teachers, "AAPT Celebrates PSSC's Fiftieth Birthday," at Compadre,

Bruner, Jerome S., The Process of Education, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960.

Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education, "Reflecting on Sputnik: Linking the Past, Present, and Future of Educational Reform," Proceedings of a Symposium held October 4, 1997 – available electronically at:

de Chadarevian , Soraya and Nick Hopwood, editors, Models: The Third Dimension of Science, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004.

Division of Scientific Personnel and Education, National Science Foundation, The Role of the National Science Foundation in Course Content Improvement, The School Review, Vol. 70, No. 1. (Spring 1962), 1-15.

Donahue, David M., "Serving Students, Science, or Society? The Secondary School Physics Curriculum in the United States, 1930-65," History of Education Quarterly, 33 #3 (Autumn1993), 321-352.

Dow, Peter, Schoolhouse Politics, Lessons from the Sputnik Era, Cambridge: Harvard, 1991.

Klein, Ursula, editor, Tools and Modes of Representation in the Laboratory Sciences, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2001.

Roberts, David L., and Angela L. E. Walmsley, "The Original New Math: Storytelling versus History," Mathematics Teacher, 96 #7 (October 2003), 468-473.

Rudolph, John L., Scientists in the Classroom: The Cold War Reconstruction of American Science Education, New York: Palgrave, 2002.

Stannic, George M. A., and Jeremy Kilpatrick, A History of School Mathematics, 2 volumes, Reston, Va.: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2003.