By: Alden Stevens
Date: March 1, 1940
Source: Stevens, Alden. "Whither the American Indian?" Survey Graphic 29, no. 3, March 1, 1940, 168. Available online at http://newdeal.feri.org/survey/40b09.htm; website home page: http://newdeal.feri.org (accessed February 27, 2003).
About the Author: Alden Stevens (1907–1968) was born and raised in Chicago and later graduated from the University of Chicago. He was a well-traveled writer and museum exhibition designer whose assignments took him to numerous American Indian reservations. Stevens also wrote for several television shows, and in 1957, served as the field director of the Mobil Travel Guide. In 1941, he joined the American Association on Indian Affairs, an organization dedicated to promoting the welfare of American Indians. In 1964, he was elected president of the association, a position he held until his death.
Ever since the establishment of mission schools by the Spaniards in the 1500s, continuous efforts had been made to convert American Indians to Christianity and to deprive them of their culture. Assimilation was the goal of American Indian...
(The entire section is 1871 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Mary McLeod Bethune's Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt
By: Mary McLeod Bethune
Date: April 22, 1941
Source: McCluskey, Audrey Thomas, and Elaine M. Smith, eds. Mary McLeod Bethune: Building a Better World—Essays and Selected Documents. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999, 120–21.
About the Author: Mary McLeod Bethune (1895–1955) one of seventeen children whose parents were freed slaves, was born in Mayesville, South Carolina. She opened a school for girls in 1904, which later became Bethune-Cookman College,
The story of Mary McLeod Bethune's struggle to get an education and fund her own school was well known. In 1904, with "$1.50 and faith," she opened...
(The entire section is 1723 words.)
"Schools for New Citizens"
By: Viola Paradise
Date: September 1941
Source: Paradise, Viola. "Schools for New Citizens." Survey Graphic 30, no. 9, September 1941, 469. Available online at http://newdeal.feri.org/survey/sg41469.htm; website home page: http://newdeal.feri.org (accessed February 28, 2003).
About the Author: Viola Paradise (1887–1980) was born in Chicago, Illinois, and educated at the University of Chicago and the New York School of Social Work. She wrote several novels and contributed numerous articles to the leading publications of her time, including the Pictorial Review, Harpers, Women's Home Companion, Scribner's, and The Dial. She died in New York.
At the turn of the twentieth century, millions of immigrants entered America hoping to create a better life for themselves and their children. Many were from southern and eastern Europe: Italy, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Greece. There was a wide diversity of languages, religions, and ethnic groups represented. By the 1930s, America's largest cities included ethnic enclaves like "Little Italy," "Greek town" and "Chinatown." Immigrants were taught that their...
(The entire section is 1867 words.)
"History DE-American History and Contemporary Civilization"
By: College Entrance Examination Board
Source: College Entrance Examination Board. "History DE-American History and Contemporary Civilization." In Questions Set at the Examinations of June, 1941. Boston: Athenaeum, 1941, 88–90.
About the Organization: The College Entrance Examination Board, now known simply as the College Board, was established in 1900. A membership organization first composed of the Ivy League, Seven Sister, and other selective colleges, the College Board was interested in centralizing the admissions examination process to colleges and universities. It did so by developing standardized tests such as the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), with which students could apply to a number of institutions without having to sit for entrance examinations at each one.
At the turn of the twentieth century, standardized testing had been used sporadically in schools to measure students' mastery of a prescribed curriculum. Through the work of Alfred Binet, Lewis Terman, and others, another kind of standardized testing arose. The Stanford-Binet intelligence test measured people's intelligence quotient (IQ) by dividing a person's chronological age by his or her "mental age." First used on a mass...
(The entire section is 1632 words.)
"The Eight-Year Study"
By: Wilford M. Aikin
Date: February 20, 1942
Source: Aiken, Wilford M. "High School and the Promise of the Future." High School Journal 25, Spring 1942, 149–55. Originally delivered as an address at the Southeastern Conference of the Progressive Education Association, Greenville, South Carolina, February 20, 1942. Reprinted in American Education: An Introduction Through Readings. Tyrus Hillway, ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1964, 217–20.
About the Author: Wilford M. Aikin (1882–1965) was born in Ohio. A leading progressive educator, he taught in various high schools before directing a private academy, the John Burroughs School, in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1930, Aikin became chairman of the Commission on the Relation of Schools and College of the Progressive Education Association (PEA), which sponsored the Eight-Year Study. He was made a professor of education at Ohio State University in 1935.
The PEA, founded in 1919, grew in the following decades to symbolize the experiments taking place in child-centered education, especially through its journal Progressive Education. The PEA encompassed many different approaches to progressive education. However, unlike the social reconstructionists...
(The entire section is 2451 words.)
"Rupert, Idaho—Children Go to Swimming Classes in the School Bus"
By: Russell Lee
Date: July 1942
Source: Lee, Russell. "Rupert, Idaho—Children Go to Swimming Classes in the School Bus." July 1942. Library of Congress. Card number fsa2000050772/PP. Available online at http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/mdbquery.html (accessed April 3, 2003).
About the Photographer: Russell Lee worked as a photographer for the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression of the 1930s and into the 1940s, publicizing the conditions of America's rural poor to the public through his images. He continued to work at various posts as a photographer until his death in 1986.
In 1937, Frank W. Cyr, a professor of rural education at Teachers College, Columbia University, conducted the first survey to investigate how students were getting to school. He found that most students who attended school shared the same mode of transportation: they walked. If they could hitch a ride, it was often in a farmer's horse-drawn cart or a covered wagon.
Urban schoolchildren might use public transportation, such as the streetcar, if they could afford the fare. For the wealthiest, getting to school was often not an issue. Children of the elite...
(The entire section is 1198 words.)
"America Was Schoolmasters"
By: Robert P. Tristram Coffin
Source: Coffin, Robert P. Tristam. "America Was Schoolmasters." Reprinted in Unseen Harvests: A Treasury of Teaching. Claude M. Fuess and Emory B. Basford, eds. New York: Macmillan, 1947, 284–85.
About the Author: Robert P. Tristram Coffin (1892–1955) was born and grew up in Brunswick, Maine, on a saltwater farm. He attended Bowdoin College and Princeton University before going to Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar. He served two years in World War I (1914–1918). Coffin wrote more than forty books and was awarded many honors, including the 1936 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his work Strange Holiness. He taught at Wells College from 1921 to 1934 and eventually returned to Bowdoin, where he was Pierce Professor in English from 1934 until his death.
Coffin received his early education at a rural red-brick schoolhouse, where perhaps he had a schoolmaster not unlike the one he describes in his poem. In adulthood, he successfully combined the roles of artist and teacher, poet and prose writer. He wrote dozens of books of poems, novels, biographies, and essays. He was well known for his pastoral poetry of Maine that speaks of the human condition, a mood he evoked in...
(The entire section is 923 words.)
Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944
By: U.S. Congress
Date: June 22, 1944
Source: Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944. U.S. Public Law 346. 78th Cong. 2d sess., June 22, 1944. Available online at http://www.nara.gov:80/cgi-bin/starfinder/20769; website home page: http://www.nara.gov (accessed February 11, 2003).
While the war was still raging, American policy makers were trying to figure out what to do about the eventual prospect of sixteen million returning veterans. The possibility of another economic depression was alarming. As early as 1942, it was obvious that a plan would be needed to reintegrate the veterans into the civilian economy without causing massive unemployment. The National Resources Planning Board, a White House agency, studied postwar manpower needs and in June 1943 recommended a series of programs for education and training.
The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, more commonly known as the G.I. Bill of Rights, provided a solution to this problem and at the same time compensated the veterans for their service during the war. Not only would it provide tuition, fees, books, and a monthly subsistence payment for veterans in school, it...
(The entire section is 1632 words.)
Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
Date: November 16, 1945
Source: Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Reprinted in Knight, Edgar W., and Clifton L. Hall. Readings in American Educational History. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1951, 773–75.
About the Organization: In 1942, a Conference of Allied Ministers of Education representing eighteen governments met in London. Based on their proposals, the UN held a conference on the establishment of an educational and cultural organization in November 1945. Forty-four governments, including the United States, were represented. On November 16, 1945, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) constitution was signed.
From the ashes of World War II (1939–1945) came the idea for an international cooperating body, the United Nations, and, within it, a specialized agency to handle education, science, and culture. The roots of UNESCO actually extend back to the 1920s. President Woodrow Wilson (served 1913–1921) helped to establish the League of Nations, only to suffer extreme disappointment at America's decision not to enter. Nevertheless, the idea of international cooperation had taken hold. Left to...
(The entire section is 1585 words.)
Science, the Endless Frontier
By: Vannevar Bush
Source: Bush, Vannevar. "Letter of Transmittal" and "Renewal of Our Scientific Talent." Science, the Endless Frontier: A Report to the President. Washington, D.C., 1945. Reprinted in The Educating of Americans: A Documentary History. Daniel Calhoun, ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969.
About the Author: Vannevar Bush (1890–1974), born in Everett, Massachusetts, was an American electrical engineer and inventor who contributed to the development of computer hypertext. He was a professor and then dean of engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then became president of the Carnegie Institution in Washington in 1939. During World War II (1939–1945), he headed the Office of Scientific Research and Development and after the war was instrumental in establishing the National Science Foundation.
In June 1940, Adolf Hitler's troops were advancing in Europe. The previous year, German scientists had discovered nuclear fission and the Allies were alarmed at the prospect of further advances. Scientific research became a matter of national security.
In Washington, Vannevar Bush met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt (served 1933–1945) about...
(The entire section is 2020 words.)
Higher Education for American Democracy: Vol. I, Establishing the Goals
By: President's Commission on Higher Education
Source: President's Commission on Higher Education. Higher Education for American Democracy: Vol. I, Establishing the Goals. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1947. Reprinted in American Higher Education: A Documentary History. Richard Hofstadter and Wilson Smith, eds. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961, 984–86.
About the Organization: President Harry S. Truman (served 1945–1953) appointed his Commission on Higher Education in the summer of 1946. It was composed of twenty-eight educators and laymen and headed by George F. Zook, the president of the American Council on Education. The president asked the commission to "re-examine our system of higher education in terms of its objectives, methods, and facilities; and in the light of the social role it has to play."
With the prospect of several million returning veterans enrolling in colleges and universities through the G.I. Bill, American higher education faced an urgent challenge after World War II (1939–1945). Existing facilities were inadequate to meet the needs of these new students, and new faculty would have to be trained and hired for increased enrollment....
(The entire section is 2101 words.)
A Community School in a Spanish-Speaking Village
By: Loyd S. Tireman and Mary Watson
Source: Tireman, Loyd S., and Mary Watson. A Community School in a Spanish-Speaking Village. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1948, 74–78.
About the Authors: Loyd S. Tireman (1896–1959), a pioneer in bilingual education, was born into a farming community in Orchard, Iowa. He graduated from Upper Iowa State University in 1917, in time to enlist for service in World War I (1914–1918). After the war, he returned to Iowa, married, and assumed a position as a school superintendent in Hanlontown, the first of several such positions he held. He did graduate work in education at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, receiving his master's in 1924 and his doctorate in 1927. That same year, he joined the faculty of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and remained in New Mexico until his death.
Mary Watson, a former rural teacher, was the principal of the Nambé School in New Mexico. When the school closed, she rejoined the state department of education in New Mexico and later became the state superintendent of education.
During the 1930s, Loyd S. Tireman conducted some of the first bilingual education experiments in the United...
(The entire section is 1730 words.)
Education in a Japanese American Internment Camp
Farewell to Manzanar
By: Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
Source: Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki, and James D. Houston. Farewell to Manzanar. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973, 89–90, 93.
About the Author: Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston (1934–) was born in Inglewood, California. Her Japanese American family was among the first to be interned at the Manzanar War Relocation Center during World War II (1939–1945). Houston studied sociology and journalism at San Jose State College, where she and her husband, a novelist, first met. They were married in 1957 and live in California. Houston was awarded both the Humanities Prize in 1976 and the Christopher Award for the screenplay of Farewell to Manzanar.
"A Teacher at Topaz"
By: Eleanor Gerard Sekerak
Source: Sekerak, Eleanor Gerard. "A Teacher at Topaz." In Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience. Lawson Fusao Inada, ed. Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday, 2000, 132–33.
About the Author: Eleanor Gerard Sekerak was born in California. She graduated from the University...
(The entire section is 2141 words.)
Chronicles of Faith: The Autobiography of Frederick D. Patterson
By: Frederick Douglass Patterson
Source: Patterson, Frederick Douglass. Chronicles of Faith: The Autobiography of Frederick D. Patterson. Martia Graham Goodson, ed. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1991, 121–23.
About the Author: Frederick Douglass Patterson (1901–1988), born in Washington, D.C., was named after Frederick Douglass, the famous nineteenth-century abolitionist. Orphaned at the age of two, he was raised by an aunt in Texas. Patterson went on to earn a master of science, a doctor of veterinary medicine degree, and a doctorate in philosophy. He became the president of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1935 and founded the United Negro College Fund in 1944.
For most of this country's history, African Americans who wanted a higher education faced the barriers of outright discrimination and Jim Crow segregation. A lucky few, like the sociologist W.E.B. DuBois, who was also the first African American Harvard doctoral recipient, could attend schools in the North or go to Europe but most could not. The private African American colleges created after the Civil War (1861–1865) sought to fill this gap, but they often faced problems with funding.
(The entire section is 1973 words.)