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Education > History of Education

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Going Ape

Florida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom

Brandon Haught

Before William Jennings Bryan successfully prosecuted John Scopes in the infamous “Scopes Monkey Trial,” he was a prominent antievolution agitator in Florida.

In Going Ape, Brandon Haught tells the riveting story of how the war over teaching evolution began and unfolded in Florida, one of the nation’s bellwether states. It still simmers just below the surface, waiting for the right moment to engulf the state.

The saga opens with the first shouts of religious persecution and child endangerment in 1923 Tallahassee and continues today with forced delays and extra public hearings in state-level textbook adoptions. These ceaseless battles feature some of the most colorful culture warriors imaginable: a real estate tycoon throwing his fortune into campaigns in Miami; lawmakers attempting to insert the mandatory teaching of creationism into bills; and pastors and school board members squabbling in front of the national media that descends into their small town. The majority of participants, however, have been, and still are, average people, and Haught expertly portrays these passionate citizens and the sense of moral duty that drives each of them.

Given a social climate where the teaching of evolution continues to sharply divide neighbors and communities, Going Ape is a must-read for anyone concerned with the future of public education.

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Golden Days

Reminiscences of Alumnae, Mississippi State College for Women

Golden Days includes twenty oral histories of women who graduated from Mississippi State College for Women (now Mississippi University for Women) at least fifty years ago. From Mary Ellen Weathersby Pope's (1926) description of a teaching career beginning just before the 1927 Delta flood to Juanita McCown Hight's (1934) account of campus conversations with violinist Jascha Heifetz and writer/adventurer Richard Halliburton, these stories illustrate the profound influence of the nation's first public college for women on the lives of the storytellers. Vivid reminiscences about life on campus recall a different world of blue uniforms, rigid rules, and demanding faculty.

Even after many decades, these women still clearly remember particular teachers who inspired and pushed them to succeed, midnight dormitory pranks played on long-suffering "social advisers," and the spring Zouave marching drills directed by the indomitable Emma Ody Pohl. Whether they graduated in 1926 or 1956, there is a common thread running through these memories: an appreciation for academic life, strong leadership, cultural experiences that enriched lives, a recognition that the university gave self-confidence to pursue unusual or difficult careers, and a gratitude for remarkable friendships which have lasted a lifetime.

The Southern Women's Institute of Mississippi University for Women provides a foundation for research and inclusive outreach through the study of women in both traditional and non-traditional roles. The Institute's research focuses on the history of MUW and the position women hold in the culture and foundation of the South both today and in the future.

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The Grammar of Our Civility

Classical Education in America

Lee T. Pearcy

The pragmatic demands of American life have made higher education's sustained study of ancient Greece and Rome an irrelevant luxury, ;and this despite the fact that American democracy depends so heavily on classical language, literature, and political theory. In The Grammar of Our Civility, Lee T. Pearcy chronicles how this came to be. Pearcy argues that classics never developed a distinctly American way of responding to distinctly American social conditions. Instead, American classical education simply imitated European models that were designed to underwrite European culture. The Grammar of Our Civility also offers a concrete proposal for the role of classical education, one that takes into account practical expectations for higher education in twenty-first century America.

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Gymnastics of the Mind

Greek Education in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt

Raffaella Cribiore

This book is at once a thorough study of the educational system for the Greeks of Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, and a window to the vast panorama of educational practices in the Greco-Roman world. It describes how people learned, taught, and practiced literate skills, how schools functioned, and what the curriculum comprised. Raffaella Cribiore draws on over 400 papyri, ostraca (sherds of pottery or slices of limestone), and tablets that feature everything from exercises involving letters of the alphabet through rhetorical compositions that represented the work of advanced students. The exceptional wealth of surviving source material renders Egypt an ideal space of reference. The book makes excursions beyond Egypt as well, particularly in the Greek East, by examining the letters of the Antiochene Libanius that are concerned with education.

The first part explores the conditions for teaching and learning, and the roles of teachers, parents, and students in education; the second vividly describes the progression from elementary to advanced education. Cribiore examines not only school exercises but also books and commentaries employed in education--an uncharted area of research. This allows the most comprehensive evaluation thus far of the three main stages of a liberal education, from the elementary teacher to the grammarian to the rhetorician. Also addressed, in unprecedented detail, are female education and the role of families in education. Gymnastics of the Mind will be an indispensable resource to students and scholars of the ancient world and of the history of education.

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Harlem vs. Columbia University

Black Student Power in the Late 1960s

Stefan M. Bradley

In 1968-69, Columbia University became the site for a collision of American social movements. Black Power, student power, antiwar, New Left, and Civil Rights movements all clashed with local and state politics when an alliance of black students and residents of Harlem and Morningside Heights openly protested the school's ill-conceived plan to build a large, private gymnasium in the small green park that separates the elite university from Harlem. Railing against the university's expansion policy, protesters occupied administration buildings and met violent opposition from both fellow students and the police._x000B__x000B_In this dynamic book, Stefan M. Bradley describes the impact of Black Power ideology on the Students' Afro-American Society (SAS) at Columbia. While white students--led by Mark Rudd and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)--sought to radicalize the student body and restructure the university, black students focused on stopping the construction of the gym in Morningside Park. Through separate, militant action, black students and the black community stood up to the power of an Ivy League institution and stopped it from trampling over its relatively poor and powerless neighbors. Bradley also compares the events at Columbia with similar events at Harvard, Cornell, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania.

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Her Oxford

Judy G. Batson

For over six centuries, the University of Oxford had been an exclusively male bastion of privilege and opportunity. Few dreamed this could change. Yet, in 1879, twenty-one pioneering women quietly entered two recently established residence halls in Oxford in the hope of attending lectures and pursuing a course of study. More women soon followed and, by 1893, there were five women's societies, each with its own principal, staff, and identity. Only eighty years after women first appeared in Oxford, the five residential societies were granted full status as colleges of the University-self-governing entities with all the rights and obligations of the men's colleges-and women students constituted 16 percent of the undergraduate population. Though still a distinct minority, women had gained full access to the rich resources, opportunities, and challenges of the University. Her Oxford looks at the people and the political and social forces that produced this dramatic transformation. Drawing on a vast array of biographies, histories, obituaries, and archives, Batson traces not only the institutional struggles over privileges and disciplinary rules for women, but also the rich texture of everyday life-women's amateur theatricals, debating societies, sports, and college escapades (Dorothy Sayers is the subject of quite a few). She tells the stories of women's active roles in two war efforts and in the suffrage movement. An unusual feature of the book is the set of more than 200 biographical profiles of women who attended Oxford between 1879 and 1960. They constitute a Who's Who of women scientists, anthropologists, psychotherapists, educators, novelists, and social reformers in the English-speaking world.

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The Higher Learning in America: The Annotated Edition

A Memorandum on the Conduct of Universities by Business Men

Thorstein Veblen edited with an introduction and notes by Richard F. Teichgraeber III

Since its publication in 1918, Thorstein Veblen’s The Higher Learning in America has remained a text that every serious student of the American university must confront. Intellectual historian Richard Teichgraeber brings us the first scholarly edition of Veblen’s classic, thoroughly edited, annotated, and indexed. An extensive introduction discusses the book’s composition and publishing history, Veblen’s debts to earlier critics of the American university, and the place of The Higher Learning in America in current debates about the American university. Veblen’s insights into the American university system at the outset of the twentieth century are as provocative today as they were when first published. Insisting that institutions of higher learning should be dedicated solely to the disinterested pursuit of knowledge, he urged American universities to abandon commitments to extraneous pursuits such as athletics, community service, and vocational education. He also believed that the corporate model of governance—with university boards of trustees dominated by well-to-do businessmen and university presidents who functioned essentially as businessmen in academic dress—mandated unsavory techniques of salesmanship and self-promotion that threatened to reduce institutions of higher learning to the status of competitive business enterprises. With a detailed chronology, suggested readings, and comprehensive notes identifying events, individuals, and institutions to which Veblen alludes, this volume is sure to become the standard teaching text for Veblen’s classic work and an invaluable resource for students of both the history and the current workings of the American university.

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Highlander

No Ordinary School 1932--1962

John M. Glen

and racial justice during a critical era in southern and Appalachian history. This volume is the first comprehensive examination of that extraordinary -- and often controversial -- institution.

Founded in 1932 by Myles Horton and Don West near Monteagle, Tennessee, this adult education center was both a vital resource for southern radicals and a catalyst for several major movements for social change. During its thirty-year history it served as a community folk school, as a training center for southern labor and Farmers' Union members, and as a meeting place for black and white civil rights activists. As a result of the civil rights involvement, the state of Tennessee revoked the charter of the original institution in 1962.

At the heart of Horton's philosophy and the Highlander program was a belief in the power of education to effect profound changes in society. By working with the knowledge the poor of Appalachia and the South had gained from their experiences, Horton and his staff expected to enable them to take control of their own lives and to solve their own problems.

John M. Glen's authoritative study is more than the story of a singular school in Tennessee. It is a biography of Myles Horton, co-founder and long-time educational director of the school, whose social theories shaped its character. It is an analysis of the application of a particular idea of adult education to the problems of the South and of Appalachia. And it affords valuable insights into the history of the southern labor and the civil rights movements and of the individuals and institutions involved in them over the past five decades.

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A History of Eastern Kentucky University

The School of Opportunity

William E. Ellis

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) in Richmond, Kentucky, was originally established as a normal school in 1906 in the wake of a landmark education law passed by the Kentucky General Assembly. One hundred years later, the school has evolved into a celebrated multipurpose regional university that is national in scope.

The school was built on a campus that had housed Central University, a southern Presbyterian institution. In its early years, EKU grew slowly, buffeted by cyclical economic problems and the interruptions of two world wars. During that time, however, strong leadership from early presidents Ruric Nevel Roark, John Grant Crabbe, and Herman L. Donovan laid the groundwork for later expansions.

President Robert. R. Martin oversaw the rapid growth of the institution in the 1960s. He managed an increase in enrollment and he had additional facilities built to house and educate the growing student population. A savvy administrator, he was at the forefront of vocational education and initiated programs in nursing and allied heath and in law enforcement education. His successor, J.C. Powell, built on Martin's work and saw EKU mature as a regional university. He reorganized its colleges to better balance the needs of general and technical education students and kept educational programs going despite decreases in state funding.

In addition, Powell's years were a magical time for EKU's sports programs, as the Colonels captured national football championships in 1979 and 1982 and finished second in 1980 and 1981. Today, EKU continues to offer students a quality education and strives to meet the diverse needs of its student body. Three Eastern campuses, as well as distance learning programs through the Kentucky Telelinking Network, offer more options to students than ever before as EKU prepares them for the challenges of a new century.

In A History of Eastern Kentucky University, William E. Ellis recounts the university's colorful history, from political quandaries surrounding presidential administrations and financial difficulties during the Great Depression to its maturing as a leading regional university. Interviews with alumni, faculty, staff, and political figures provide a personal side to the history of the school. Reflecting on the social, economic, and cultural changes in the region during the last century, Ellis's examination of the growth and development of EKU is an essential resource for alumni and for those interested in the progression of public higher education in Kentucky and the region.

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A History of Education in Kentucky

William Ellis

Kentucky is nationally renowned for horses, bourbon, rich natural resources, and unfortunately, hindered by a deficient educational system. Though its reputation is not always justified, in national rankings for grades K-12 and higher education, Kentucky consistently ranks among the lowest states in education funding, literacy, and student achievement. In A History of Education in Kentucky, William E. Ellis illuminates the successes and failures of public and private education in the commonwealth since its settlement. Ellis demonstrates how political leaders in the nineteenth century created a culture that devalued public education and refused to adequately fund it. He also analyzes efforts by teachers and policy makers to enact vital reforms and establish adequate, equal education, and discusses ongoing battles related to religious instruction, integration, and the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA). A History of Education in Kentucky is the only up-to-date, single-volume history of education in the commonwealth. Offering more than mere policy analysis, this comprehensive work tells the story of passionate students, teachers, and leaders who have worked for progress from the 1770s to the present day. Despite the prevailing pessimism about education in Kentucky, Ellis acknowledges signs of a vibrant educational atmosphere in the state. By advocating a better understanding of the past, Ellis looks to the future and challenges Kentuckians to avoid historic failures and build on their successes.

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