History of Education Society, Annual Meeting, Part III. History of Education Society (HES).
Reviewed by Blythe F. Hinitz
Published on H-Education (March, 2004)
PART III: Selected Highlights of the 2003 HES Meeting
<h5>[Editor's Note: This message comprises Part III of a five-part review of the HES 2003 Annual Meeting published by H-Education the week of 8-12 March 2004.]</h5> <p> This part of the review incorporates papers relating to the historical themes of early education and child development, the Chicago educational scene, subjects related to the <cite>Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka</cite> decision, and several time periods in American history. <p> PANEL: Understanding the American Child: Research and Popular Knowledge <p> Jed Woodworth (Michigan State University) "Children in American Advice Books, 1820-1860" <p> Blythe Hinitz (The College of New Jersey) "Chicago: Crucible of Early Childhood Teacher Education for the Midwest" <p> Theresa Richardson (Ball State University) "The Influence of Chicago, the Social Sciences and Child Development Research: Pursuing a Science of Pedagogy, 1889-1939" <p> Chair/ Discussant: Julia Grant (Michigan State University) <p> In his paper, Woodworth chronicled four cultural streams in American advice books of the anti-bellum period. The "Urbanism[K1]" stream took the viewpoint that the temperate child was the happy child. The "Evangelicalism" stream addressed the belief of the Evangelical religious sects that children had to learn new social codes. The "Gentility" stream dealt with decorous personal habits. The "Domesticity" stream addressed the importance of the family and the traits required of the mother, with the aim of molding children of good moral character. The paper begins to address the ways in which these streams provide a picture of the American child of the early 1800s. <p> In her paper, your reviewer described the interplay between early childhood teacher educators and the social, economic, artistic and political forces in the Midwest, as exemplified by the development of early childhood teacher education in Chicago. The paper notes the lines of influence in the generations of early childhood teacher educators prepared in Chicago institutions who fanned out across the region to introduce and foster innovative early education research and practice. Grant and Beatty's questions (see below) addressed the search for broader and deeper historical meaning utilizing these findings. <p> Richardson's paper described the uniqueness of the University of Chicago as a child development research institution engaged in interdisciplinary research between the medical and social sciences. There was exchange of people, production of textbooks based on the research, consolidation of knowledge, and intervention through education. The paper provided a clear picture of the University's role in the national child development movement, and why it attained that role. <p> The discussant, Julia Grant, noted that the papers addressed a variety of aspects of educational sociology. Questions for the presenters to ponder included: What was the role of the kindergarten in Chicago and its relationship to the University of Chicago? How did the teachers in the Lab School influence Dewey's Columbia University students? How did progressive education find a hospitable home in early childhood education? Why did the nursery school movement take a different approach and what was its place in the early education history of Chicago and the U.S.? At what age do we infantilize children? <p> During the discussion, Barbara Beatty asked what it was about conditions in Chicago--the gender aspects, the cultural ideas drawn upon to form organizations, the social history, the context questions, and the neighborhoods--that made Chicago a crucible for educational innovation. In a discussion of the institutional culture at the University of Chicago, the point was made that currently application is not the university's "strong suit." <p> PANEL: Curriculum Issues in Higher Education <p> Katherine C. Reynolds (University of South Carolina) "Strange Twists on the Way to Chicago: Democratic Intents at the Roots of the Great Books Movement" <p> William N. Haarlow (Northwestern University) "To Secure Our Victory: The Liberal Arts Movement After World War II" <p> Robert Wilson-Black (University of St. Francis) "One Nation Under Theology: The Creation of Religion Departments during World War II at Elite Universities" <p> Chair: Christine Ogren (University of Iowa) Discussant: Marybeth Gasman (University of Pennsylvania) <p> Reynolds' paper expanded on a previously published article about the Great Books movement. Haarlow's paper discussed Great Books themes and strands as exemplars of the pedagogy of liberal learning. Wilson-Black's paper on theology departments addressed the importance of such departments as moral centers within universities, as well as negative views of the role of religion in liberal education. <p> The discussant, Marybeth Gasman, stated that connections to current issues and citations of previous work were needed in the papers. She is interested in the monetary backing of the Great Books movement. Gasman felt that when Haarlow discussed higher education, he should have mentioned that all of the first institutions cited were elitist. She stated that Reynolds's paper often misunderstood the democratic intent of the movement and Wilson-Black could have made some mention that the teaching of religion could complement liberal arts. Some of these papers were presented as "works in progress." Gasman made supportive suggestions to assist the presenters in the revision of their papers. <p> PANEL: Aspects of the Progressive Project in Curriculum and Leadership <p> Connie Goddard (Roosevelt University) "Teachers for Democracy: The Contemporary Significance of Ella Flagg Young's Ideas about Preparing Teachers for Schools in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago" <p> Richard S. Christen (University of Portland) "Worker Education and the Arts and Crafts: Two Early-Twentieth-Century Approaches" <p> Miriam Heller Stern (Stanford University) "'A House in its Highest Sense': The Educational Project of the Settlement House" <p> Chair: Karen Graves (Denison University) Discussant: Barry Franklin (Utah State University) <p> The papers in this panel addressed a variety of aspects of Progressive Era social reform in the United States. Each of the papers utilized primary source documents, including the writings of Ella Flagg Young, the letters and oral histories of the San Francisco Jewish settlement houses, and the Oregon Labor Press. <p> Connie Goddard profiled the work of Ella Flagg Young on the administration of schools; the supervision of school personnel; in prodding the shift in emphasis from subject matter to student in the Chicago schools; and her contribution to the crystallization of Dewey's ideas about democracy in education. Goddard decried the continuing male-dominated administrative hierarchies and structured certification processes that negate the reforms implemented by Young in the Chicago Public Schools and the National Education Association. This paper is part of a larger work-in-progress, in which Goddard plans to offer recommendations for improvement of the situation. <p> Richard S. Christen compared the Arts and Crafts Society of Portland and the Portland (Oregon) Labor College, institutions that educated progressive-era industrial workers in the arts to achieve different goals. The Arts and Crafts Society fostered the creation of beautiful everyday objects by artisan rather than machine labor. The mission of the college was individual improvement and educating workers to understand, and perhaps to change, society in the United States. To these ends, the programs offered training and education, as well as sales and performance opportunities. Both organizations enriched the leisure <p> time of the workers and were committed to the ability of the arts to improve the lives of U.S. laborers. This paper provided a robust picture of the contributions of both institutions to improving the quality of life in Portland. <p> Miriam Heller Stein discussed the Esther Hellman Settlement House in San Francisco, where the Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood ran clubs and classes, and the Steiner Street residence of the Council of Jewish Women. These programs were designed to provide informal learning experiences and a model home for immigrant girls and women. The founders, "delved into private matters of home life and personal identity," with the goals of economic self-sufficiency and mental and moral education. Although there were clashes between the values and attitudes of Jewish women of different social classes, the settlement house became an educational model promoting family and community loyalty and cooperative activities. Heller Stein effectively utilized the primary source documentation to immerse the audience in the milieu of the time. She was able to develop understanding of the contribution of this settlement house and residence to the larger picture of immigrant life and education in the United States in the early twentieth century. <p> The discussant, Barry Franklin, addressed the ways in which the papers relate to the history of curriculum. He found that the Goddard paper followed a traditional route in which scholars make recommendations about should be taught. It was unusual in that it chronicled innovation that moved forward by looking at the work of a woman. Christen's work on the history of labor-related curriculum practice moves discussion of the progressive era from the 1910s into the 1920s. Stern's work places the history of the settlement movement in the realm of communitarianism (the development of the sense of community). <p> PANEL: The Interplay of Organizations and Education: National and International Perspectives <p> Joseph Watras (University of Dayton) "The American Historical Association's Commission on the Social Studies as a Social Survey, 1929-1941" <p> Wayne C. Urban (Georgia State University) "International Education and an International Teachers' Organization: William H. Carr, UNESCO and the World Confederation of the Organized Teaching Profession" <p> Philo Hutcheson (Georgia State University) "'The First Line of Defense': Origins of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare" <p> Chair/Discussant: Sherman Dorn (University of South Florida) <p> Watras's paper provided background on the 1916 report of the NEA Committee on Social Studies that called for combining history, geography, political science and economics into programs that cultivated the ideals of good citizenship. It described the work of the AHA Commission as an extension of the social survey movement, a model of social reform made popular during the progressive era. It detailed Commission publications, beginning with the 1932 volume, A Charter for the Social Studies, and the controversies they engendered. It pointed out that although the social survey movement ended with the defeat of President Hoover, the social process approach was used by the Bradley Commission on History in Schools in 1988, and it continues to be used by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) today. Audience comments on this paper included skepticism that the AHA Commission was the death of historians' activism, and a reference to historians being attracted by "the dark side of the force" (social studies). <p> In his paper, Urban discussed the international work and ideas of William G. Carr, an Executive Secretary of the National Education Association (NEA), from the 1920s through the 1960s. Carr's initial publication on international understanding advocated world citizenship and indicated some ways in which schools and teachers might help to move the world toward peace. Carr advocated for an international Office of Education during the formation of the United Nations, but left UNESCO when he could not influence its agenda. The World Organization of the Teaching Profession (WOTP) was founded at the Endicott Conference called by the NEA. International and domestic problems, including fear that the organization would be dominated by the United States, ideological problems with Communist-oriented teachers organizations, the domestic rivalry between the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the separation between organizations of elementary and secondary level teachers in most European countries delayed the ratification of the WOTP constitution. Some of these problems were alleviated when the WOTP was replaced by the World Confederation of the Teaching Profession (WCOTP), but it was not until 1974, several years after Carr had left his leadership position, that WCOTP joined in formation of the current Education International federation. Urban pointed out two critical faults: (1) Although many things remained to be solved in the United States system, Carr continued to make recommendations regarding other countries teaching associations; and (2) Carr was unable to subject his own ideas to the same critical analysis he gave to other organizations. Discussion of this paper centered around the need for a better understanding of educational anti-Communism, and why educators bought into the rhetoric so easily. <p> Hutchinson's paper focused on the justification for the elevation of health, education, and welfare to Cabinet status, and the role of the American Council on Education (ACE) in the development of a federal level department of education. President Eisenhower believed in education as the first line of defense. In a 1950 speech he emphasized teachers' importance in world affairs stating, "What you teach is what the country does." <p> Oveta Culp Hobby was appointed as the first Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare on the strength of her administrative work during World War II. Until 1957, the department's approach was study rather than action. After the Russian launch of Sputnik, Eisenhower supported the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) that promoted science and technology education, and language study. It also required a loyalty oath. Eisenhower was antithetical to civil rights issues, as was Hobby. This prevented education legislation linked to compliance with the Supreme Court's Brown decision from proceeding in Congress. <p> The discussant indicated that Hutchinson might need to rethink the division of education policies from other areas. It was suggested that the contrast between American and European notions of social citizenship by the mid-twentieth century, and the stronger ties between welfare and other educational policies be examined. The author was encouraged to go to Abilene to obtain documentation. Hutchinson made the point that there was a change in Eisenhower's support for higher education after Sputnik. <p> A series of questions were posed by the discussant for panelists' response and consideration: Do you need to have a coherent (strong) idea in order to build a professional organization with influence? Urban and Watras said yes, Hutchinson said no. Are academics too engaged in disputes to be effective in navigating politics? Are those effective in one organizational setting effective in other settings? Are organizations empty of content useful? (Maybe the creation of HEW required it being an empty shell?) What are the problems/dilemmas of linking organizations to claims of professional expertise? <p> PANEL: Educational Thinking for Early America <p> Stephen Tomlinson and Douglas McKnight (University of Alabama) "Helvetius, Destutt de Tracy, and Thomas Jefferson: Education and the Government of the Mind" <p> William Cahill (Edison Township, NJ, High School and Rutgers University) "Realist Education in Franklin's Academy of Philadelphia, 1751-1755: Evidence from the Academy's Tuition Book and Student Notebooks" <p> Chair/ Discussant: Keith Whitescarver (College of William and Mary) <p> Tomlinson shared excerpts from a chapter in his forthcoming book that deals with ideology and education in Virginia. Cahill's paper focused on Franklin's Academy of Philadelphia, based on a reading of primary source documents. <p> Keith Whitescarver, the discussant, found implicit in the papers the influence of the cultural attitudes held by the colonists who were here. He saw a trend toward a view of America as part of the larger Atlantic world, denoting interplay between Europe and America. This panel added carefully documented data to the knowledge base on education and educational thought in the fledgling United States, as it sought to join the world "community of the mind." <p> PANEL: Understanding and Creating Historical Memory and its Uses in an Undergraduate Foundations of Education Course <p> Lynn Hamer (Chair) (University of Toledo) Charles Carter (University of Toledo) Martha Kransdorf (University of Toledo) <p> According to Hamer, this panel reported action research by "the instructors of a multi-section, undergraduate course in the history and culture of American schooling to provide opportunities for their students to develop historical understanding in order to promote agency in the present." The papers described the panelists' work in developing: <p> -Student understanding of their own history and their part in history; <p> -Student understanding of racial identity development--collective identity based on shared common racial heritage; <p> -Student use of their historical understanding to critique and improve practices in their everyday lives as students and teachers. <p> Carter utilized videos, readings and student reflection journals. Kransdorf wanted to teach the concept of collective historic memory, particularly about civil rights, and knowledge of key incidents and developments. She used pre- and post-unit questionnaires and videos. One assignment required students to link their own family history to traumatic historical events of the Civil Rights Movement or the Holocaust in Europe. The results of the post-unit questionnaire indicated improvement in students' ability to identify key terms and incidents related to the Civil Rights movement. However, much work still remains to be done in the students' development of deeper understandings and the ability to use these understandings in their own teaching and personal lives. In order to assist her students in telling about their own educational history and including the diverse voices of the marginalized in educational history, Hamer used readings in Takaki's book, <cite>A Different Mirror</cite>. She analyzed student essays on their personal and family history of schooling. Preliminary results indicated, according to a reviewer, that there possibly was more concern with having students adopt the view of the professor or one of the authors studied, than their own view of the world. Hamer intends to modify the assignment to keep student identity "explicitly central." <p> During the discussion, audience members made many suggestions of possible texts and readings, including using the Dr. Seuss book <cite>Star Bellied Sneetches</cite>. Photographs and videos were also suggested, as were several methodologies that could be employed. The content of the papers in this session was useful to all of us who teach foundations, history, and related courses, because it provided a glimpse into ways in which educators are assisting tertiary level students to connect historical events with their personal lives and beliefs. The openness with which the presenters shared their findings and encouraged sharing of resources, methodologies, and strategies among colleagues connected the session to individuals' personal pedagogy and reflection. <p> Notes <p> . Takaki, R. (1993). <cite>A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America</cite>. Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Company. <p> . Dr. Seuss. (1961). "Star-Belly Sneetches" in <cite>The Sneetches and Other Stories.</cite> NY: Random House Books for Young Readers.
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Blythe F. Hinitz. Review of , History of Education Society, Annual Meeting, Part III.
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