By: Helen Hay Heyl
Date: November 7, 1932
Source: Heyl, Helen Hay. "The Two Extremes." Journal of Education, November 7, 1932, 602. Reprinted in Tyack, David, Robert Lowe, and Elisabeth Hansot. Public Schools in Hard Times: The Great Depression and Recent Years. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984, 151.
About the Author: Helen Hay Heyl was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and received her M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia. Her long career as an educator included positions as a teacher, principal, and eventually as supervisor for the New York State Education Department in Albany, New York.
Progressivism is a term that was used in many areas of American life. In politics, it was associated with the turn-of-the-century muckraking journalists who exposed government corruption and demanded reform. In education it was associated with a more scientific attitude to learning based on the discoveries of psychology and sociology.
Originally progressivism had its roots in the philosophy of pragmatism, which emphasized the real-life consequences of actions rather than people's intentions or abstract principles. One of its main proponents was John Dewey, a philosopher of education born...
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By: George S. Counts
Source: Counts, George S. Dare the School Build a New Social Order? Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1932. Excerpts reprinted in Reed, Ronald F., and TonyW. Johnson, eds. Philosophical Documents in Education. New York: Longman, 2000, 120–122.
About the Author: George Sylvester Counts (1889–1974) was born in frontier Kansas and taught high school before receiving the first Ph.D. in sociology of education awarded by the University of Chicago in 1916. By 1927 Counts was a professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia. Counts traveled extensively in the Soviet Union and throughout Europe in the 1920s. In 1932 he challenged the audience of the Progressive Education Association (PEA) with his speech, "Dare Progressive Education Be Progressive?" In his later years, Counts became an anticommunist, having seen the results of Joseph Stalin's regime when he revisited Russia in the 1930s. Counts became a faculty member at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1961, where he would continue with his teaching and activism until his death in 1974.
Counts was a member of what was known as the Teachers College Group, influential radical educators who...
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Opinions on Federal Aid for Education
"Current Conditions in the Nation's Schools"
By: National Education Association
Date: November 11, 1933
Source: National Education Association. "Current Conditions in the Nation's Schools." Research Bulletin, November 11, 1933, 109, 111.
About the Author: Founded as the National Teachers Association in 1850, the National Education Association (NEA) acquired its current name in 1857. Its goal is to promote the welfare of professional educators and to advance public education. The NEA raises funds for scholarships, conducts workshops on issues that affect educators and support staff, lobbies Congress, files legal actions in support of academic freedom and the rights of educators, and provides training and technical assistance to its members.
"Why the Discrimination?"
By: National Committee for Federal Aid to Education
Date: February 1935
Source: Phi Delta Kappan 17, February 1935, 127 (originally published in a pamphlet by the National Committee for Federal Aid to Education). Reprinted in Tyack, David, Robert Lowe, and Elisabeth Hansot. Public Schools in Hard Times: The Great...
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"Sample Outline of Adult Educational Programs"
By: American Library Association
Date: December 1, 1933
Source: American Library Association. "Sample Outline of Adult Educational Programs." Bulletin of the American Library Association 27, no. 12, December 1933, 547. Reproduced in "New Deal Document Library." New Deal Network. Available online at http://newdeal.feri.org/ala/al33547.htm; website home page: http://newdeal.feri.org (accessed April 20, 2002).
Adult education was a high priority for Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. But instead of focusing on traditional schooling for their educational reforms, the New Dealers tried to reach unemployed adults, whose worsening situation could cause a social crisis. Federal Adult Schools were established around the country to encourage adults to return to school and learn new skills. Classes were often vocational, but they also included music and photography, which were taught by practicing artists through the Works Projects Administration (WPA). Evening classes were even offered for those who worked during the day.
New Deal programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) were also experiments in adult education. Even...
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Land of the Spotted Eagle
By: Luther Standing Bear
Source: Standing Bear, Luther. Land of the Spotted Eagle. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1933. Reprinted in Native Americans. William Dudley, ed. San Diego, Calif.: Greenhaven Press, 1998, 199–201.
About the Author: Luther Standing Bear (1868–1939), son of an Oglala Sioux chief, was born in December 1868 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He was first educated on the reservation, but was later sent away to attend the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. Following graduation, Standing Bear worked as a teacher, clerk, minister, rancher, and interpreter for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show before his success as a writer. He wrote several memoirs and was published widely during the 1930s, speaking out for Native American rights. Toward the end of his life, he worked in Hollywood as an actor. He died in 1939 in California.
For many years before the 1930s, serious efforts had been made to erase all traces of Indian culture in Native American students. Assimilation was the goal, especially at the Indian boarding schools across the country. When children were taken from their parents to be indoctrinated in this way, they could often not return...
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Teachers and Teaching by Ten Thousand High-School Seniors
By: Frank William Hart
Source: Hart, Frank William, ed. Teachers and Teaching by Ten Thousand High-School Seniors. New York: Macmillan, 1934, 72–73, 150–151.
About the Author: Frank William Hart (1881–1965) was born in Quincy, Indiana. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and began his career as a high school principal before returning to Columbia to teach. In 1920 he joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where he conducted numerous surveys of educational programs, organization and administration, school finances, and teachers' salaries.
Part of progressive education was a growing confidence in the scientific expert to measure just about anything, and the survey was an instrument for this measurement. Educators might not be recognized by law as part of the government, but with their ability to measure and translate the results to the government, they still held a certain power.
The field of educational research was beginning to emerge as an important one. Experts and administrators came from the burgeoning schools of education. Intelligence testing, begun among recruits during World War I, had subsequently been used in schools, and...
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Jane Addams and Education of Immigrants
"Jane Addams: A Foe of War and Need"
By: The New York Times
Date: May 22, 1935
Source: "Jane Addams: A Foe of War and Need." The New York Times, May 22, 1935. Available online at http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0906... ; website home page: http://www.nytimes.com (accessed April 24, 2002).
Jane Addams Memorial
By: Mitchell Siporin
Source: Siporin, Mitchell. Jane Addams Memorial. 1936. Tempera on paper. In the Fine Arts Collection, General Services Administration 8247589458423 293 A New Deal for the Arts. The National Archives. Reproduced in "A New Deal for the Arts." National Archives. Available online at http://www.archives.gov/exhibit_hall/new_deal_for_the_arts/... ; website home page: http://www.archives.gov (accessed February 10, 2003).
About the Artist: Mitchell Siporin...
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By: Arthur Guiterman
Source: Guiterman, Arthur. "Education." Published in Death and General Putnam and 101 Other Poems. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1935. Reprinted in Unseen Harvests. Fuess, Claude M., and Emory S. Basford, eds. New York: Macmillan, 1947, 351–52.
About the Author: Arthur Guiterman (1871–1943) was born in Vienna, Austria. A poet, editor, humorist, journalist, and librettist, he wrote thousands of poems for newspapers and magazines, publishing several collections in his lifetime. Guiterman was best known for his humorous verse.
Guiterman graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1891. He accepted a clerical job with the trade publication Jewelers' Weekly and went on to work as an editor at Woman's Home Companion and the Literary Digest. His poetry did not gain recognition until 1906, when Woman's Home Companion magazine published his poem "Strictly Germ-Proof."
In the following year he published his first collection, Betel Nuts, and by 1918 he was publishing a book nearly every two years. From 1925 until his death, Guiterman was a frequent contributor to the New Yorker, as well as Life, Saturday Evening...
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The National Youth Administration
Painting Depicting the Activities of
the National Youth Administration
By: Alden Krider
Source: Krider, Alden. Painting Depicting the Activities of the National Youth Administration. 1936. In the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, National Archives and Records Administration. 44-107-1. Available online at http://www.archives.gov/exhibit_hall/new_deal_for_the_arts/... ; website home page: http://www.archives.gov (accessed April 24, 2002).
About the Artist: Alden Krider (1908–) was born in Newtown, Kansas. Krider taught at Kansas State University from 1949 to 1977 and was professor emeritus. The Krider Visual Resource and Learning Center, in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design at Kansas State University is named for him.
"Evaluation of the Contributions of the National Youth Administration"
By: Advisory Committee on Education
Source: Advisory Committee on Education. "Evaluation of the Contributions of the...
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"Educational Contribution of the Civilian Conservation Corps"
By: Robert Fechner
Date: May 1937
Source: Fechner, Robert. "Educational Contribution of the Civilian Conservation Corps." Phi Delta Kappan 19, no. 9, May, 1937. Reproduced in the New Deal Network. Available online at http://newdeal.feri.org/texts/641.htm; website home page: http://newdeal.feri.org (accessed April 24, 2002).
About the Author: Robert Fechner (1876–1939), born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was the grandson of German immigrants. At age sixteen he began his training as an apprentice machinist, joined a local union, and was elected secretary. He then worked as a traveling machinist for nine years, and eventually became a noted union leader who represented labor and helped settle many disputes. In 1933, Fechner was appointed by President Roosevelt to direct the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). He served as the CCC's director until his death in 1939.
An estimated two million young people were unemployed in the early years of the Great Depression. At a time when only a minority of young adults went on to college, the majority could not find jobs, even when they had to quit school to support their families....
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Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts
By: Robert S. Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd
Source: Lynd, Robert S., and Helen Merrell Lynd. Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1937, 221–223, 228.
About the Authors: Robert Staughton Lynd (1892–1970) was born in New Albany, Indiana, and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. A graduate of Princeton, Lynd worked as an editor before entering Union Theological Seminary. Helen Merrell (1899–1982) was born in La Grange, Illinois, and attended Wellesley College. She taught in girls' schools in New York, where she met Robert Lynd. They were married in 1922. Together they published Middletown: A Study in American Culture (1929) and Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts (1937). Robert became a professor of sociology at Columbia University, and Helen taught at nearby Sarah Lawrence College.
After Robert Lynd received his divinity degree in 1923, the Lynds served as missionaries in the oil fields of Montana, where their interests shifted from religion to sociology. In the mid-1920s Robert Lynd directed a series of "Small City" studies for the Institute of Social and Religious Research, and the Lynds were then selected to...
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Alfred Kinsey's Marriage Course
By: Alfred C. Kinsey
Date: June 1938
Source: Kinsey, Alfred C. "Marriage." Syllabus for the course at Indiana University. June 1938. Archives for the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. Bloomington, Indiana.
"First Lecture of Marriage Course"
By: Alfred C. Kinsey
Date: June 1939
Source: Kinsey, Alfred C. "First Lecture of Marriage Course." Indiana University. June 1939. Archives for the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. Bloomington, Indiana.
About the Author: Alfred Charles Kinsey (1894–1956) was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, and attended Bowdoin College in Maine, where he earned his degree in biology and psychology. He received a graduate degree in applied biology from Harvard, and he arrived at Indiana University in 1920 as an assistant professor of zoology. There, he established his academic reputation for work in taxonomy and evolution, and particularly for his studies of gall wasps. When he took over the university's new marriage course in 1938, Kinsey began gathering case histories of sexual behavior, which led to...
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"Radio in a Modern School Program"
By: Gertrude Metze
Date: March 20, 1939
Source: Metze, Gertrude. "Radio in a Modern School Program." Oshkosh State Teachers College radio program transcript. March 20, 1939. University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh Archives and Area Research Center. Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Audio available online at http://www.uwosh.edu/archives/radio/modern.htm; website home page: http://www.uwosh.edu (accessed March 6, 2003).
About the Author: Gertrude Metze (1909–1987) was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She attended the Normal School's (teachers college) practice school and Oshkosh High School before getting her state teacher's college degree in 1931. For a time, Metze was an instructor at Oshkosh State Teacher's College, teaching second grade in the practice school. By 1941 Metze had moved to Illinois where she continued her teaching career.
In the 1930s, technology was only beginning to make an impact on education. In the days before the "wired" classroom, wireless communication through radio was the most significant technology for education. Radio was already popular for listening to music, but it was first introduced to schools in Haaren High...
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Arctic Schoolteacher: Kulukak, Alaska, 1931–1933
By: Abbie Morgan Madenwald
Source: Madenwald, Abbie Morgan. Arctic Schoolteacher: Kulukak, Alaska, 1931–33. Norman, Okla., and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992.
About the Author: Abbie Morgan Madenwald (1908–1991) received most of her education at Washington State College. She was a lifelong teacher who began her career in a one-room schoolhouse. In 1931 she and her husband, Ed, accepted a contract to teach the Yup'ik Alaska Natives in a remote region of the Alaska territories. After the death of her husband, she returned home to Washington State to continue teaching, did graduate work at Columbia, and married Orville Madenwald. She never returned to Kulukak, but remained in contact with several of the Yup'ik while she worked for many years on the manuscript that would become Arctic Schoolteacher. She died in 1991, just as her book was to be published.
For many decades women had ventured to unknown territories to teach. The image of the frontier "schoolmarm" was prevalent in American culture. But stereotypes about these teachers existed: they were spinsters who could not find a husband, or young women waiting
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