Historical Dictionary of American Education

By Richard J. Altenbaugh | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

The history of American education represents a vital and productive field of study. Although it traces its chronological roots to the late nineteenth century, with Ellwood P. Cubberley and Paul Monroe formalizing it with their institutional, proselytizing style during the early twentieth century, it has experienced profound intellectual growth and maturation during the past forty years.1 This stemmed from previous sharp criticism by academic historians and protracted tumult over its relationship to teacher preparation. In 1953, historian Arthur Bestor launched a blistering attack on educational historians and their work in his vitriolic Educational Wastelands:

Torn from its context of general historical change, the history of school systems becomes a chronicle almost devoid of meaning. Worse than that, it may easily become the kind of distorted history which presents the past as a mournful catalogue of errors, redeemed by some few feeble gropings toward that perfection of wisdom the present generation (and the instructor in particular) alone possess.2

Four years later the Ford Foundation's Fund for the Advancement of Education formed the Committee on the Role of Education in American History in order to move “educational” history closer to “academic” history.3

Bernard Bailyn eloquently initiated this trend in his 1960 historiographic classic, Education in the Forming of American Society, calling for a break from the staid and dominant institutional interpretation.4 Lawrence Cremin responded five years later with an essay specifically criticizing Cubberley's ahistorical framework and generally castigating the Whig school of thought, which stressed institutional evolution and consensus. Cremin followed this with a bold proposal to study and write “educational” history rather than “school” history, to emphasize culture instead of institutions. He thus broadly defined education and its processes as “the deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort to transmit, evoke,

-xiii-

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Historical Dictionary of American Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • A 1
  • B 30
  • C 67
  • D 106
  • E 118
  • F 135
  • G 152
  • H 161
  • I 180
  • J 191
  • K 202
  • L 206
  • M 221
  • N 244
  • O 265
  • P 272
  • R 308
  • S 322
  • T 358
  • U 369
  • V 374
  • W 378
  • Y 391
  • Selected Bibliography 393
  • Index 445
  • About the Editor and Contributors 483
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