Producing Good Citizens
Literacy Training in Anxious Times
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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If you want to take the temperature of a nation, just turn to its discussions about citizenship. In 1916, in the midst of the First World War and a spike in immigration from countries outside of northern Europe, the United States Bureau of Naturalization sponsored a Citizenship Convention in Washington, DC. Various stakeholders, including teachers, labor leaders, and congressional...
1. In the Name of Citizenship
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The charge of producing citizens has long been an integral part of the mission of education in the United States. From Thomas Jefferson’s linking of an “educated citizenry” to “our survival as a free people” to educational reformer Horace Mann’s common school movement through John Dewey and other Progressive era pragmatists, from the New Left–era education movements...
2. Literacy Training, Americanization, and the Cultivation of the Productive Worker-Citizen
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In the 1922 Federal Textbook on Citizenship Training, an aptly titled lesson called “The Good Citizen” begins with Mr. Brown telling Mr. White, “I have been reading that they intend to build some school buildings.” Their conversation moves through issues of cost (“it will take a great deal of money”) and...
3. Class Work: Labor Education and Literacy Hope
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In the passage above from the labor newspaper Justice, Fannia M. Cohn, educational director of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU), explained the rationale behind the development of the workers’ education movement in the United States during the 1910s and 1920s. To labor educators such as Cohn, workers’ education was designed to help unionists become...
4. English and Useful Citizenship in a Culture of Aspiration
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In his 1916 English Journal article “The Outside of the Cup,” Louis Rapeer from Pennsylvania State College (now University) asked English educators, “What are you contributing in the way of knowledge, habits, ideals, and appreciations to one or more of these dominant aims of education? . . . What about citizenship?” (382).1 He questioned whether the focus of English courses should be...
5. Teaching Literacy and Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century
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In the context of citizenship training in the United States, literacy has been used as a means to ease anxieties about citizenship by cultivating assimilation, empowerment, and employability. The imperative for literacy in each of the three training sites examined in the previous chapters has been influenced by the imagined ways that literacy will prepare students for future identities in...
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Page Count: 216
Publication Year: 2014
Series Title: Pittsburgh Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture