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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Written by Joan Lowe. “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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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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For the next twelve years he learned reading, writing and math skills while performing various farming duties. He was able to save enough (probably with some assistance from the farmer for whom he labored) to enroll in Randolph’s Orange County Grammar School in 1815 at the age of 20. During the next six years (1815-1821) he completed not only the secondary school courses but also the first two years of a college level curriculum. Following his graduation from Randolph he was accepted at Middlebury College, entering as a junior in August of 1821. Two years later he received his bachelor’s degree. Middlebury College claims him to be the first African-American to earn a baccalaureate degree from an American college or university.

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In 1881, Kate married (Samuel) Bradley Wiggin, a San Francisco lawyer.‪ According to the customs of the time, she was required to resign her teaching job.‪ Still devoted to her school, she began to raise money for it through writing, first The Story of Patsy (1883), then The Birds’ Christmas Carol (1887). Both privately printed books were issued commercially by Houghton Mifflin in 1889, with enormous success. Ironically, considering her intense love of children, Kate Wiggin had none. She moved to New York City in 1888.‪

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This entry was a presentation by Kate Douglas Wiggin at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of The National Conference of Charities and Correction, 1888. Wiggin was an American educator and author of children’s stories. She devoted her adult life to the welfare of children in an era when children were commonly thought of as cheap labor.

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This entry was a presentation written by Mrs. Sarah B. Cooper at the Sixteenth Annual Session of the The National Conference of Charities And Correction, 1889. Mrs. Cooper was internationally known as a pioneer in kindergarten education. Her ideas were endorsed by American educators, and she…led the founding of a teacher training institute, and in 1892 she founded and was elected first president of the International Kindergarten Union.
The Kindergarten takes hold of the child at the most important epoch of life,- the formative period. Impressions precede expressions, and we should be most careful that the child receive none but the best impressions, especially when we consider that these will be lasting and affect his whole after life.

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This entry was a presentation by Mrs. Cooper at the Ninth Annual National Conference of Charities and Corrections, 1882. Mrs. Cooper was internationally known as a pioneer in kindergarten education. Her ideas were endorsed by American educators, and she… led the founding of a teacher training institute, and in 1892 she founded and was elected first president of the International Kindergarten Union.

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This entry is a presentation by Constance Mackenzie at the Thirteenth Annual Session of The National Conference Of Charities And Correction, 1886. “‘The kindergarten itself does not, of course, bear directly upon crime,’ writes one of our correspondents; ‘but, if the entire after education of the child were carried out according to the principles of the kindergarten, there can be no doubt that its effects would be strongly felt in every direction.'”

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This entry was a presentation by Mrs. George Brown at the Sixteenth Annual Session of The National Conference Of Charities And Correction, 1889. “In an assemblage like this Conference, it must be an axiomatic proposition that the State should educate all its dependent children. It is not charity: it is simply providing for those of its own household…The question, then, is, in what respects must this provision for the feeble-minded differ from that given to others?”

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