School Daze #14: The Instructor Magazine (Jan 1969)

In the late 60s, education got a massive facelift - a transformation from the rigid traditional classroom to one of "no failure", multiculturalism and lots of sex ed.   Whether this was a good or bad thing is up for debate.  I was in school throughout the seventies and can testify that it had its share of hippie influence, but overall I got a good education despite the flaky experiments the Boomers inflicted upon us.

Here's a magazine from ground zero - 1969. The articles are a bit on the boring side, but the odds and ends are interesting for a glance.  Let's have a look...

The magazine is packed with advertising for film loops.  This was the high-tech thing to do before computers entered the classroom.

All this for only one dime?  I think I smell some major league bullshit going on here.

Before the internet, encyclopedias were the go-to place for quick info.  It's strange to think that kids today, who have Wikipedia at their fingertips, will never become acquainted with the encyclopedia.

I went to a lot of different schools as an air force brat, and they all had different gimmicky alternatives to traditional learning.  My absolute worst was the SRA.... oh, to be a brown or turquoise level reader.

Speaking of gimmicks...

An entire course of study revolving around the humble banana.

"How will he learn about sex? ... through whispered conversations, off-color remarks or smutty magazines?... Don't let young people be misguided by discussions about sex in the washroom, on the street corner, or in the local hang out."

Anyone out there learn using a tachistoscope?  I have a vague memory of seeing one of these, but it's fuzzy.

Who can concentrate on vowels when Susan Lucci's your teacher?

(insert sounds of crickets chirping)

Kellog's needed to update their Astronaut Breakfast Game advertisement - it looks a lot older than 1969.


  1. AnonymousJune 18, 2015

    Oh wow!!!!!! SRA. was just thinking about that the other day. My grandson is 3 today and with be in kindergarten in 2 short years. Hope he doesn't experience anything like SRA!! LOL Thanks Gilligan!!

    1. Near as I can figure out, here in Virginia, the SOLs are sort of the replacement for the SRA tests that I took as a kid in upstate New York.
      I think the big difference is that SOLs seem to be a much bigger deal now than SRAs when I was a kid. SOLs are the barometer for school accreditation, teacher evaluation, etc. I don't know what, if anything, the SRA scores were used for.

  2. AnonymousJune 18, 2015

    I went through all these things. The Tachistoscope, SRA, and my cousin had the "Orbiting Astronaut". It was cardboard. Now all I need is a glass of Funny Face and my Matchbox cars!

  3. SRA is still around and it's even computerized. I also remember the cartridge loop projectors.

  4. Our family had one of those Cycle-Teachers, the entire kit with tons of giant discs on all sorts of subjects. It was a neat, well-made thingy you put them in.

  5. I admit that I was one of those geeky kids that spent hours pouring through every page of the encyclopedias. My parents thought it was a little strange but they couldn't complain much (and yes they would probably correct!) For me there is something special about having that over sized tome in your hand with all the accumulated knowledge of mankind in one place. And as a bonus, I aced every geography test I ever took as a result. Wikipedia just isn't the same for me.