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Fictions of the Past in U.S. Classrooms
For more than three decades, the same children’s historical novels have been taught across the United States. Honored for their literary quality and appreciated for their alignment with social studies curricula, the books have flourished as schools moved from whole-language to phonics and from student-centered learning to standardized testing. Books like Johnny Tremain, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and Roll of Thunder, Hear Me Cry stimulate children’s imagination, transporting them into the American past and projecting them into an American future. As works of historical interpretation, however, many are startlingly out of step with current historiography and social sensibilities, especially with regard to race. Unlike textbooks, which are replaced on regular cycles and subjected to public tugs-of-war between the left and right, historical novels have simply—and quietly—endured. Taken individually, many present troubling interpretations of the American past. But embraced collectively, this classroom canon provides a rare pedagogical opportunity: it captures a range of interpretive voices across time and place, a kind of “people’s history” far removed from today’s state-sanctioned textbooks. Teachers who employ historical novels in the classroom can help students recognize and interpret historical narrative as the product of research, analytical perspective, and the politics of the time. In doing so, they sensitize students to the ways in which the past is put to moral and ideological uses in the present. Featuring separate chapters on American Indians, war, and slavery, Child-Sized History tracks the changes in how young readers are taught to conceptualize history and the American nation.
Madison and the New Left in the Sixties
As the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union escalated in the 1950s and 1960s, the federal government directed billions of dollars to American universities to promote higher enrollments, studies of foreign languages and cultures, and, especially, scientific research. In Cold War University, Matthew Levin traces the paradox that developed: higher education became increasingly enmeshed in the Cold War struggle even as university campuses became centers of opposition to Cold War policies. The partnerships between the federal government and major research universities sparked a campus backlash that provided the foundation, Levin argues, for much of the student dissent that followed. At the University of Wisconsin in Madison, one of the hubs of student political activism in the 1950s and 1960s, the protests reached their flashpoint with the 1967 demonstrations against campus recruiters from Dow Chemical, the manufacturers of napalm. Levin documents the development of student political organizations in Madison in the 1950s and the emergence of a mass movement in the decade that followed, adding texture to the history of national youth protests of the time. He shows how the University of Wisconsin tolerated political dissent even at the height of McCarthyism, an era named for Wisconsin's own virulently anti-Communist senator, and charts the emergence of an intellectual community of students and professors that encouraged new directions in radical politics. Some of the events in Madison—especially the 1966 draft protests, the 1967 sit-in against Dow Chemical, and the 1970 Sterling Hall bombing—have become part of the fabric of "The Sixties," touchstones in an era that continues to resonate in contemporary culture and politics.
American Mass Magazines and Middle-Class Manhood, 1890–1915
The Rhetoric of Public Sex Education, 1870-1924
Dirty Words: The Rhetoric of Public Sex Education, 1870-1924, details the approaches and outcomes of sex-education initiatives in the Progressive Era. In analyzing the rhetorical strategies of sex-education advocates, Robin E. Jensen engages with rich sources such as lectures, books, movies, and posters that were often shaped by female health advocates and instructors. Her narrative demonstrates how women were both leaders and innovators in early U.S. sex-education movements, striving to provide education to underserved populations of women, minorities, and the working class. Investigating the communicative and rhetorical practices surrounding the emergence of public sex education in the United States, Jensen shows how women in particular struggled for a platform to create and circulate arguments concerning this controversial issue.
The Ross School Model and Education for the Global Era
“When I visited the Long Island Ross School I was struck by the way Courtney Ross and her team successfully brought together the elements of an effective school: reflective teachers, innovative curriculum, and student-centered instruction. It is no wonder that the school has been a magnet for some of the most influential education thinkers of our time. In Educating the Whole Child for the Whole World, Suarez-Orozco and Sattin-Bajaj have created a multi-faceted meditation on the ever-evolving Ross model of education, with relevant lessons for educators everywhere.”
The Meaning of Alexander Meiklejohn, 1872–1964
"Intellectual biography at its best. Nelson has presented us with the whole Meiklejohn, warts and all." â€”E. David Cronon, coauthor of The University of Wisconsin: A History -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is the definitive biography of Alexander Meiklejohn, one of the most important and controversial educators and civil libertarians of the twentieth century. A charismatic teacher and philosopher with extrordinarily high expectations for democratic self-government in the United States, Meiklejohn was both beloved and reviled during his long life. Brilliant and dedicated, he could also be stubborn and arrogant, and his passion for his own ideals led to frequent clashes with prominent and powerful critics. The son of reform-minded, working-class immigrants from Scotland, Meiklejohn rejected the spiritually agnostic and politically instrumentalist philosophies of his Progressive-Era contemporaries, many of whom, he argued, simply took democracy for granted. As dean of Brown University at the outset of the twentieth century, he lamented the disintegration of the old classical curriculum and questioned the rising influence of amoral science in modern higher education. He served as president of Amherst College during the culturally turbulent years of World War I, a director of the famous Experimental College at the University of Wisconsin during the late 1920s and early 1930s, and as a delegate to UNESCO after World War II. An outspoken defender of the First Amendment during the McCarthy era, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963. "Alexander Meiklejohn was a self-proclaimed idealist living in an increasingly pragmatic age, and his central question remains essential today: How can education teach citizens to be free?" "A splendid piece of work. It is a fascinating character study of an extraordinary figure in American intellectual and educational history. Nelson presents a very balanced portrait of the man, his strengths and weaknesses."â€”Charles W. Anderson, author of Prescribing the Life of the Mind Adam R. Nelson is assistant professor of history at Texas A&M University. Previously a lecturer on history and literature at Harvard University, he is currently working on a history of internationalism in American higher education.
Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929
Education beyond the Mesas is the fascinating story of how generations of Hopi schoolchildren from northeastern Arizona “turned the power” by using compulsory federal education to affirm their way of life and better their community. Sherman Institute in Riverside, California, one of the largest off-reservation boarding schools in the United States, followed other federally funded boarding schools of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in promoting the assimilation of indigenous people into mainstream America. Many Hopi schoolchildren, deeply conversant in Hopi values and traditional education before being sent to Sherman Institute, resisted this program of acculturation. Immersed in learning about another world, generations of Hopi children drew on their culture to skillfully navigate a system designed to change them irrevocably. In fact, not only did the Hopi children strengthen their commitment to their families and communities while away in the “land of oranges,” they used their new skills, fluency in English, and knowledge of politics and economics to help their people when they eventually returned home. Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert draws on interviews, archival records, and his own experiences growing up in the Hopi community to offer a powerful account of a quiet, enduring triumph.
Diversity and Equity in Public Policy
In Education Reform in Florida, sociologists and historians evaluate Governor Jeb Bush’s nation-leading school reform policies since 1999. They examine the startlingly broad range of education policy changes enacted in Florida during Bush’s first term, including moves toward privatization with a voucher system, more government control of public education institutions with centralized accountability mechanisms, and a “superboard” for all public education. The contributors arrive at a mixed conclusion regarding Bush’s first-term education policies: while he deserves credit for holding students to higher standards, his policies have, unfortunately, pushed for equality in a very narrow way. The contributors remain skeptical about seeing significant and sweeping improvement in how well Florida schools work for all students.
Perspectives from the Texas A&M University Department Centenary
Insects affect the health and well-being of humans every day, everywhere, so the entomology departments that study them make a crucial contribution to many aspects of life. Indeed, agricultural success in the United States and other countries depends upon the work of entomology departments within the land grant system at universities across the nation. Entomology at the Land Grant University is a thorough look at how entomology departments have adapted to shifting demographics, changes in land use patterns, environmental issues, and advances in the life sciences. It also highlights the leadership of entomologists in their multifaceted roles as researchers, teachers, and consultants. With world-renowned contributors from both academia and industry, this volume is the culmination of a series of mini-symposia celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University. The centenary was a time to reflect on past accomplishments and to plan for future challenges, spotlighting the academic, scientific, economic, and social importance of entomology. The result is a broad-brushed picture of a discipline that at its best represents the highest virtues of fundamental and applied science, with topics such as: - fulfilling the land grant university mission - roles of entomology departments - the function of the extension service - the global reach of entomological research - civic education in insect management - genetic engineering - future innovations in pest management and insecticide design Not just for entomologists, this insightful look into the workings of a university department within the context of a rapidly changing scientific, social, and economic climate will appeal to anyone associated with a land grant university, extension or regulatory agency, or related industry.