Date of Award

Spring 2000

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2000 Amy K. Rhodes. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department, Educational Studies Department

First Advisor

Bruce Dorsey

Second Advisor

Eva F. Travers


Using a combination of personal interviews, education policy documents, and secondary sources, Rhodes chronicles the conception and downfall of the Parkway Program, an experimental school in Philadelphia in the late 1960s and early ‘70s. The Program was a challenge to the traditional norms governing public high schools, as it strove to integrate the school into the community with experiential learning and involve the students in the curriculum though democratic decision-making. Rhodes argues that despite its initial success, the Program’s failure was due to its more radical innovations being neutralized by the Philadelphia public school district.