Hardback
April 19, 2022
9781421442792
English
240
84469
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v2.1 Reference
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April 19, 2022
9781421442808
9781421442792
English
240
84469
10
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$39.95 USD, £29.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Making Schools American

Nationalism and the Origin of Modern Educational Politics

How school reformers in the Progressive Era—who envisioned the public school as the quintessential American institution—laid the groundwork for contemporary battles over the structure and curriculum of public schools.

Around the turn of the twentieth century, a generation of school reformers began touting public education's unique capacity to unite a diverse and diffuse citizenry while curing a broad swath of social and political ills. They claimed that investing in education would equalize social and economic relations, strengthen democracy, and create high-caliber citizens equipped for the twentieth century, all while preserving the nation's sacred traditions. More than anything, they pitched the public school as a quintessentially American institution, a patriotic symbol in its own right—and the key to perfecting the American experiment.

In Making Schools American, Cody Dodge Ewert makes clear that nationalism was the leading argument for schooling during the Progressive Era. Bringing together case studies of school reform crusades in New York, Utah, and Texas, he explores what was gained—and lost—as efforts to transform American schools evolved across space and time. Offering fresh insight into the development and politicization of public schooling in America, Ewert also reveals how reformers' utopian visions and lofty promises laid the groundwork for contemporary battles over the mission and methods of American public schools.

Despite their divergent political visions and the unique conditions of the states, cities, and individual districts they served, school reformers wielded nationalistic rhetoric that made education a rallying point for Americans across lines of race, class, religion, and region. But ultimately, Making Schools American argues, upholding education as a potential solution to virtually every societal problem has hamstrung broader attempts at social reform while overburdening schools.

About the Author

Historian Cody Dodge Ewert (PIERRE, SD) is an associate editor at the South Dakota Historical Society Press. He earned his PhD in history from New York University.

Endorsements

"Making Schools American reveals how a multitude of events and practices, some seemingly eclectic (the creation of Arbor Day, school parades) and some more obvious (instituting the Pledge of Allegiance recitation, curricular design) worked together to yoke public education to national interests and identity. It is a stellar first book: creative, novel in its approach, beautifully written and argued. At a time when people are thinking about anti-racist and political education more openly than they have in half a century, Ewert's book offers us new ways of considering the conflicts that are rooted in this conversation."

- Jonna Perrillo, University of Texas, El Paso

"Ewert's claims that ideas about nationalism became the leading argument for mass public schooling by the time the United States entered World War I has the potential to make significant contributions to the scholarship in both education history and American political development. Making Schools American adds important nuance to the scholarship by highlighting the distinctiveness of particular state stories while revealing how the goals of schooling became intertwined with a nationalistic rhetoric that had a lasting impact in classrooms."

- Joan Malczewski, University of California, Irvine

9781421442792 : making-schools-american-ewert
Hardback
April 19, 2022
$39.95 USD
9781421442808 : making-schools-american-ewert
Electronic book text
April 19, 2022
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