The Work of Teachers in America : A Social History Through Stories book cover
1st Edition

The Work of Teachers in America
A Social History Through Stories

ISBN 9780805822502
Published March 1, 1997 by Routledge
352 Pages

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Book Description

This volume presents a complex portrait of the American teacher through a fascinating range of "story" narratives, including fictional short stories, poetry, diaries, letters, ethnographies, and autobiographies. Through these stories, the volume traces the evolution of the teacher and the profession over the course of two centuries -- from the late 1700s to the late 1900s. In depicting the profession over time, the authors include stories by and about both male and female teachers, as well as teachers from a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, including white, black, Hispanic, Asian-American, immigrant and native-born, and gay and straight.

This book offers accessible, comprehensive introductions to both the central ideas associated with each period and to the representative individual stories that are included within it. The volume editors connect each of the parts to earlier and later ones by tracing evolving themes of feminization, teacher activism, conceptions of curriculum and discipline, and issues of multiculturalism. Questions, suggested readings, and activities are offered at the end of each section. Photographs and drawings -- retrieved from state historical archives -- provide telling images of the teacher in each of the four periods.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Introduction. Part I: "...This Wretched State of Meanness and Servility": The Teacher in the Early Republic. J. Trumbull, "The Rare Adventures of Tom Brainless" From The Progress of Dulness. P. Freneau, The Private Tutor. W. Irving, "Ichabod Crane" From The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. R. Tyler, From The Algerine Captive. E.H. Willard, "Memoirs of a Woman Teacher" From Educational Biographies, Memoirs of Teachers, Educators, and Promoters and Benefactors of Education, Literature and Science, Part I Teachers and Educators. W. Burton, From The District School As It Was. D.A. Payne, "The School-Master in the Dark South" From Recollections of Seventy Years. Part I Questions and Activities. Part II: "As to the Moral Condition of the People...": The Teacher and the Common School. E.P. Peabody, "Bronson Alcott's Method" From Record of a School: Exemplifying the General Principles of Spiritual Culture. W. Whitman, "Death in the School-Room: (A FACT)." D.P. Thompson, From Locke Amsden or the Schoolmaster: A Tale. E. Eggleston, "A Struggle for the Mastery" From The Hoosier Schoolmaster: A Story of Backwoods Life in Indiana. C.M. Bishop, M.M. Rogers, "Letters From Pioneer Women Teachers." C. Forten, From "Life on the Sea Islands." C.W. Chesnutt, From "The March of Progress." Part II Questions and Activities. Part III: "The Heart Is the Teacher": The Teacher in the Progressive Era. A. Sullivan, From "The Letters of Anne Sullivan, 1887." J. Addams, "The Arts at Hull-House" From Twenty Years at Hull-House. W.E.B. Du Bois, "Of the Coming of John" From The Souls of Black Folk. M. Kelly, From "Morris and the Honourable Tim." A. Patri, A Schoolmaster of the Great City. L. Covello, From The Heart Is the Teacher. A. Yezierska, "Children of Loneliness." J. Stuart, "Split Cherry Tree." Part III Questions and Activities. Part IV: "Tell Him the House Is Falling in": The Teacher, 1945-1994. H. Calisher, "A Wreath for Miss Totten." R. Yates, "Doctor Jack-o'-Lantern." J. Kozol, From Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools. R. Dokey, "Teacher." E. Rofes, From Socrates, Plato, and Guys Like Me: Confessions of a Gay Schoolteacher. R.M. Cohen, "Lily Chin" From A Lifetime of Teaching: Portraits of Five Veteran High School Teachers. Part IV Questions and Activities.

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"I think the authors have constructed a valuable text that will be an excellent supplement in a variety of educational foundations course and courses for prospective and practicing teachers....the stories they have collected are compelling enough to be of interest to anyone who cares about teaching....a thoughtful, interesting, and well organized text."
Educational Studies

"The emphasis on stories makes it particularly attractive for a wide audience of teacher educators, historians of education, and the general reader."
Paedagogica Historica--International Journal of the History of Education

"...A fascinating, charming, and teachable book. The stories portray real a variety of situations, with diverse student populations....They consider a wide range of real and important educational problems now confronting teachers and present these problems in challenging ways....This book is not just another collection of stories about teachers, but one that introduces the 'social history' of American teachers' lives through stories."
Betty A. Sichel
University of Houston

"....A must for those who teach and do research on the history of teachers in America....Using stories is an appropriate and effective approach for teaching both preservice and inservice teachers and scholars-to-be about the life of teachers, the challenges and struggles they faced and, in many instances, still do face....The stories are balanced, and have a richness and complexity that one rarely finds in education texts."
Thomas V. O'Brien
Millersville University