Ideals and Realities.
Long before the 1930s the public school was a symbol of American democracy. In many ways it represented the promise of America: a place where hard work and achievement were rewarded, where brilliance was mined from the ore of raw talent—a necessary starting point on the road to success. Pedagogues from Thomas Jefferson to John Dewey argued that the future of the school and the future of democracy were one, that the school was the only nonauthoritarian institution capable of instilling the self-discipline necessary for a self-governing nation. The distance between the American ideal of school and the reality of American schools in the 1930s, however, was striking. Lip service for education was freely available, but financial support for schools and good salaries for teachers went begging. A financially pressed public prioritized its limited resources, and the schools lost out. Early in the decade a blue-ribbon...
(The entire page is 1720 words.)
Want to read the whole thing?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus, get access to:
- 30,000+ literature study guides
- Critical essays on more than 30,000 works of literature from Salem on Literature (exclusive to eNotes)
- An unparalleled literary criticism section. 40,000 full-length or excerpted essays.
- Content from leading academic publishers, all easily citable with our "Cite this page" button.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee READ MORE