1st Edition

Children of the Mill Schooling and Society in Gary, Indiana, 1906-1960

By Ronald D. Cohen Copyright 2002
    300 Pages
    by Routledge

    300 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Gary, Indiana was founded in 1906, and was part of the US Steel Corporation's plan to build the world's largest steel mill. The city's school system became world-famous as a progressive educational experiment until the 1930s when a changing political and economic climate led to an erosion of the system, which faced a serious overcrowding crisis in the 1950s. Blending social and intellectual history, Ronald Cohen examines the economic, political, and cultural context of the unique educational experience developed in this urban industrial center. Cohen demonstrates that while various interest groups - local as well as national - helped mold educational policies and practices, the Gary schools operated within the framework of corporate capitalism. Despite their early experimental nature, the Gary schools exemplified the rise of mass education in a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, class structure and urban setting.

    Preface I. Establishing the System, 1906-1910 II. In the Schools, 1910-1915 III. Time of Troubles, 1915-1920 IV. Flush Times, 1920-1930 V. Survival, 1930-1940 VI. The War Years, 1940-1945 VII. Postwar Problems, 1945-1950 Continuity and Change, 1950-1960 Afterword A Note on Sources Notes Index


    Ronald D. Cohen is Professor of History at Indiana University Northwest. He is the author of Moonlight in Duneland: The Illustrated Story of the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad and Rainbow Quest: The Folk Music Revival and American Society, 1940-1970.

    "Ronald D. Cohen brings the past alive like few historians of education writing today." -- from the new foreword by William J. Reese, University of Wisconsin, Madison
    "[Praise for the hardcover edition] As the story unfolds in Ronald D. Cohen's clear, workmanlike prose, enlivened by a wry sense of humor and vivid quotations and anecdotes, one appreciates more and more Cohen's decision 'not to put Gary schools in an ideological straitjacket." -- David Tyack, author of Tinkering Toward Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform
    "[Praise for the hardcover edition] This wonderfully crafted work tells the story of a remarkable school history, and contributes a valuable addition to the scholarship of educational history." -- David G. Hogan, Heidelberg College
    "[Praise for the hardcover edition] Cohen's case study provides a lovely source book for anyone who is interested in examining the way in which major issues in American education played out in a particular setting." -- David F. Labaree, Michigan State University
    "... Will be rewarded by an informative study that sets an intriguing story of educational reform in a carefully drawn historical context... He explores, successfully, the relationship between educational and social change... Children of the Mill significantly contributes to, without resolving, the continuing historiographical debate over the virtues--and meaning--of progressive schooling." -- Paul Axelrod, York University, Histoire sociale / Social History, Vol. XXXVI, No. 72