Carnegie Mellon University

Steven Schlossman

Steven Schlossman

Professor of History
Director of Undergraduate Studies


Steven Schlossman is the 2016-17 winner of Dietrich College's top teaching prize, the Elliott Dunlap Smith Award for Distinguished Teaching and Educational Service. He delivered the 2017 Honors Convocation address for Dietrich College during graduation weekend on May 20, and the departmental keynote address on May 21, 2017.

Schlossman is a social and policy historian who specializes in a variety of topics in 19th and 20th century U.S. history, including education, childhood, and parenting; juvenile and criminal justice and corrections; the politics of military recruitment; and the history of sports (especially golf).

His current research in education centers on the history of homework as a divisive problem in American schooling between the 1820s and the present. In the field of criminal justice, his current research focuses on the evolution of juvenile courts and of patterns of delinquency in the first half of the 20th century. On military recruitment, his current work analyzes policy controversies surrounding the draft, the all-volunteer army, and the experiences of gays, blacks, and women in the armed services. And in the history of sports, his research centers on the rise of modern golf (1860 to the present), with equal attention to men's and women's golf, both professional and amateur. On November 9, 2017 he delivered a keynote talk, “Joel Tarr: Applied Historian,” to mark Professor Tarr’s 50th anniversary at Carnegie Mellon University.

Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, Schlossman was on the research staffs of the RAND Corporation (Santa Monica), the California State Department of Justice, and the California State Assembly. He also taught previously at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, and UCLA on topics in the history of education and juvenile justice, and has been a visiting fellow on educational policy topics at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.


Ph.D.: Columbia University, 1976


Books and Articles (selected)
  • Patty Berg [Hall of Fame Woman Golfer], American National Biography Online.
  • No-Homework Policy? CMU’s Steven Schlossman Responds, Dietrich College News, August 24, 2016
  • "63,", June 2016, coauthored. (See also: Fact, Fancy, and Johnny Miller's 63 in the 1973 US Open at Oakmont, June 2013), coauthored.
  • “‘Knock[ing] the Bottom Out of Slavery’ and Desegregation: Some Comparisons between President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation (1863) and President Truman’s Executive Order to Desegregate the Military (1948),” in President Lincoln’s Cottage, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Emancipation at 150: The Impact of the Emancipation Proclamation, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2012.
  • America's Toughest Golf Course: Oakmont Country Club, 1903-1922,” Western Pennsylvania History, Summer 2010.
  • Chasing Greatness: Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, and the Miracle at Oakmont (New American Library/Penguin Books; 2010; paperback issued April 2011), coauthored.
  • Transforming Juvenile Justice: Reform Ideals and Institutional Realities, 1825-1920, Northern Illinois University Press, 2005.
  • Foxholes and Color Lines: Desegregating the U.S. Armed Forces, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.
  • The Beginnings of Graduate Management Education in the United States, The Graduate Management Admission Council, 1994.
  • “Juvenile Court,” in Richard Shweder, ed., The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion, University of Chicago Press, 2009, coauthored.
  • “Judge Ben Lindsey,” in Roger Newman, ed., The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law, Yale University Press, 2009.
  • “Symposium: ‘The Crime of Precocious Sexuality’: Female Juvenile Delinquency in the Progressive Era,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Winter 2009, pp. 85-124 [this symposium includes three commentaries by leading scholars in the field, plus a response by Steven Schlossman and Stephanie Wallach, pp. 110-124, entitled “Response to Critics: Rethinking ‘The Crime of Precocious Sexuality.’”]
  • Education, Science, and the Politics of Knowledge: The American Educational Research Association, 1915-1940,” American Journal of Education, May 2008.
  • “Discovering Unheard Voices: Explorations in the History of Education, Childhood, and Juvenile Justice,” in Clifton Conrad and Ron Serlin, eds. The SAGE Handbook for Research in Education: Engaging Ideas and Enriching Inquiry, SAGE Publications, Inc., 2006.
  • “In the Voices of Delinquents: Social Science, The Chicago Area Project, and a Children's Culture of Casual Crime and Violence,” in Emily Cahan et al., eds., Science in Service of Children: Perspectives on Education, Parenting, and Child Welfare, Teachers College Press, 2006.
  • Punishing Serious Juvenile Offenders: Crime, Racial Disparity, and the Incarceration of Adolescents in Adult Prison in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Pennsylvania,” in Joan McCord, ed., Beyond Empiricism, Transaction Publishers, 2004.
  • “Chicago Area Project,” in James R. Grossman et al., eds., The Encyclopedia of Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2004.
  • Villain or Savior? The American Discourse on Homework, 1850-2003,” Theory into Practice, Summer 2004.
  • A Nation at Rest: The American Way of Homework,” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Fall 2003.
  • “Parents and the Politics of Homework: Some Historical Perspectives,” Teachers College Record, July 2003.
  • “The Lost Cause of Homework Reform,” American Journal of Education, November 2000.
  • A Sin Against Childhood: Progressive Education and the Crusade against Homework, 1897-1941,” American Journal of Education, November, 1996. [Winner of Best Article of the Year Prize, History of Education Society.]
  • “Delinquent Children,” in David Rothman and Norval Morris, eds., The Oxford History of the Prison, Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • “George Leland Bach and the Rebirth of Graduate Management Education in the United States, 1945-1975,” Selections, Spring, 1995.
  • “Problem Girls: Some Observations on Past and Present,” in Glen Elder, John Modell, and Ross Parke, eds., Children in Time and Place, Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • “Status Offenders, Criminal Offenders, and Children ‘At Risk’ in Early Twentieth-Century Juvenile Court,” in Roberta Wollons, ed., Children At Risk: Essays in Public Discourse, State University of New York Press, 1993.
  • Bright Hopes, Dim Realities: Vocational Innovation in American Correctional Education, The RAND Corporation, N-3454-NCRVE/UCB, March, 1992.
  • “Guardians of Virtue: The Juvenile Court and Female Delinquency in Early Twentieth-Century Los Angeles,” Crime and Delinquency, April 1991.

Op-Ed Articles (selected)

  • “What's Germane is a Soldier's Behavior,” Los Angeles Times, January 3, 2000.
  • “The Real Heroes of Desegregation,” Los Angeles Times, July 26, 1998
  • .“The Problem That Won't Go Away,” Los Angeles Times, December 28, 1997.
  • Interviews regarding Chasing Greatness
  • Listen to Steve Schlossman's interview with Shilo Rea of Carnegie Mellon University: The Origins of Chasing Greatness (28:06), April 2010.

Courses Taught

  • Juvenile Delinquency: Images, Realities, Public Policy, 1800-1967
  • The Rise of Modern Golf, 1860 to the Present
  • Delinquency, Crime and Juvenile Justice, 1967 to the Present
  • Education and Social Reform
  • Childhood, Education, and Social Reform in American History
  • Who Shall Play? Gender and Race in American Sport

Department Member Since: 1988