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ERIC Number: ED413604
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar-14
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Figuring The Value of Literacy Education in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries.
George, D'Ann
As part of the research for a dissertation on composition at Bryn Mawr College during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, hundreds of student essays and daily themes were read. Over and over students affirmed the essential worth and significance of events in their daily lives and of their college education in general. More often than not, students framed significance in terms of some moral lesson that they wanted to teach society. The educator formulated a hypothesis that English teachers of that era believed that moral censure and moral reform of students were both part of their instructional project. A search through the 1910 "English Journal" provided proof that the hypothesis was true. Composition teachers, at both high school and college level, saw signs of depravity and delinquency in their students' writing. In several articles, metaphors of sin and sickness characterize the deficiencies of student writing, while teachers figure themselves as evangelists, Christ figures, and healers. Teachers approached education from the perspective that students were in a state of moral decay. They probably believed that the drudgery of composition instruction was ripe for emphasis on mental discipline. (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A