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ERIC Number: ED419636
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Jesse Stuart: Education's Folk Hero.
Smith, Newton
Jesse Stuart, poet, novelist, lecturer, teacher, principal, superintendent, educational reformer, and farmer, approached education as a calling or sacred quest. In his books he portrays the teacher as a devoted liberator and nurturer, a hero rescuing children and their families from decline, illiteracy, or economic instability. Stuart's educational philosophy was created from the perspective of the mythic tradition, which demands heroes and an enchanted view of the world. In "The Thread That Runs So True," he elevates his experiences to mythic proportions; he creates an image of himself as a folk hero whose naivete and commitment allow him to undertake and overcome challenges no sophisticated person would attempt. The seriocomical role of folk hero allows him to speak with authority without having to codify his theories. He saw education as a momentous struggle against ignorance, politics, and weakness. He fought bitterly for educational reform against politicians, school boards, and educators who looked out for their own interests. Stuart never formally stated his educational philosophy or explained its origins, but his writings show influences from Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Dewey, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Carlyle, and John Ruskin. He deeply affected both the communities and educational systems in his region and in Kentucky. This paper cites examples of his work and philosophy from his writings, including: "The Thread That Runs So True"; "Beyond the Dark Hills"; "To Teach, To Love"; "Mr. Gallion's School"; "If I Were Seventeen Again and Other Essays";"Cradle of Copperheads"; "God's Oddling: The Story of Mick Stuart, My Father"; and "The Year of My Rebirth." (SAS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky