Music & Social Reform

Written by Catherine A. Paul

“Every participant in revolutionary activity knows from his own experience that a good mass song is a powerful weapon in the class struggle. No other form of collective art activity exerts so far-reaching and all pervading an influence” – Aaron Copland, American […]

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Americanization

On April 10, 2017 By

Until the start of the 20th century, Americans typically believed in the power of the “melting pot” to create a common culture out of the various groups coming to America. However, this surge in immigration led to the creation of Americanization programs.

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St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village was not just a place of employment for nurses, but it was also a place for education. In 1892, forty-three years after the hospital’s opening, the St. Vincent’s School of Nursing opened its doors to women. The school was first directed by Katherine A. Sanborn. Many graduates from this school continued their work at St. Vincent’s hospital. Other graduates went to work elsewhere in New York City, including the New York Foundling Hospital, another institution directed by the Sisters of Charity. Eventually, in the 1930s, St. Vincent’s School of Nursing began to accept men. This produced even more graduates and more St. Vincent’s educated nurses working in the field.

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In 1959 Shirley turned 6 years old. Her excitement grew as fall approached because she would be going to school for the first time. What she didn’t understand was that 1959 was to be different. The US Federal Court had ordered Prince Edward County, Virginia, where Shirley lived, to desegregate its schools. And the county school board, rather than integrate their system as ordered, closed all the public schools.

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Mary Garrett and the “Friday Evening” group next turned their attention on ways to provide opportunities for women at the Johns Hopkins University. The women of the “Friday Evening” formed the Women’s Medical School Fund Committee in response to a nation-wide appeal for philanthropic assistance initiated by University president D.C. Gilman. Proposing to raise $100,000 for the endowment of the medical school if the trustees would agree to admit women on the same terms as men, the committee embarked upon a major public relations effort to promote medical education for women. When they finished, the Johns Hopkins University—and medical education in the United States—would never be the same.

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In 1904, Bracket was called upon by the presidents of Harvard University and Simmons College to head the Boston School for Social Workers (later the Simmons College School of Social Work), the first academically affiliated school of social work in the United States. He was named Instructor in Charity, Public Aid, and Corrections at Harvard and Professor of Theory and Practice of Philanthropic Work at Simmons College.

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Daniel Coit Gilman is best known for his contributions to American university and medical education. Much less well known are his activities in contributing to the foundation for American professional social work education and his personal social welfare activities. This paper reviews his history in these areas and argues that greater attention should be given to his social welfare educational and practice accomplishments.

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John Dewey was the most significant educational thinker of his era and, many would argue, of the 20th century. As a philosopher, social reformer and educator, he changed fundamental approaches to teaching and learning. His ideas about education sprang from a philosophy of pragmatism and were central to the Progressive Movement in schooling.

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Alexander Twilight: The First African-American to Earn a Baccalaureate Degree from an American College or University

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Karls, James M. (1927-2008)

On August 29, 2015 By

Dr. Karls’ greatest contribution to the public appreciation of social work is his development of the “person in the environment” (PIE) assessment system that distinguishes social work from the other mental health professions. Working with Dr. Karin Wandrei, Dr. Karls used the concept underlying social work practice of person-in-environment to develop a system for social workers to record the results of their assessment that addresses the whole person. It helps the practitioner determine recommended courses of action, and to clearly follow the progress of the work. PIE has been translated into many languages, and it has been computerized. It is used as a teaching tool not only in the US but in other countries. PIE provides an alternative to the medical model that has traditionally dominated mental health practice, and encourages social work leadership in social rehabilitation, community resources, and advocacy models.

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