ERIC Number: ED241365
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
Ironies of the Romance and the Romance with Irony: Some Notes on Stylization in the Historiography of American Education Since 1960.
The narrative conventions of romance which flourish in Lawrence Cremin's "Transformation of the School" show that stylization does occur in historical writings. People often talk about stylization in visual forms; but stylization in the verbal arts is relatively undefined. To structure his recounting of the progressive story, Cremin drew on the genre of romance. Aspects of the genre upon which the coherence of his book depend include: (1) the motif of amnesia; (2) the polarized moral universe in which the dramatic action takes place, along with the characteristically abrupt nature of the narrative movement within it; (3) the adventure quest at the center of the action; and (4) its ideal of heroism. The irony of the situation is that, for the last 20 years, we have all been quoting Walt Whitman with a moralizing flourish: "There is no more need for romance," we say with the poet from Camden, "Let facts and history be properly told." Meanwhile, the narrative conventions of romance flourished unrecognized in "The Transformation of the School," a book widely hailed as the premier example of the explanatory dividends which a revivified, academically respectable history of education had to offer. (RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cremin (Lawrence A)
Note: Paper presented at the Joint Meeting of the Canadian History of Education Association and the United States History of Education Society (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, October 14-16, 1983).