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ERIC Number: ED433284
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
From "Muscular Christianity" to the "Cult of Efficiency": Inter-developments of Ideology and Violence Reflected in the Portrayal of Teachers in Three American Novels. Draft.
Cohen, Benjamin A.
Between the 1820s and 1950s, the ideology affecting education reform can be described in terms of morality (Protestantism), nationhood (republicanism), and productivity (capitalism). This paper traces the metamorphosis of the triad of values as it is reflected in the violence and teacher images portrayed in three novels: (1) "The Hoosier Schoolmaster" (Edward Eggleston) (set in 1851); (2) "The Centaur" (John Updike) (set in 1947); and (3) "The Blackboard Jungle" (Evan Hunter) (set in 1950). Violence is examined in the paper because it is a common element in each of the novels, although the degree of violence varies. The novels discussed in the paper are not representative of the society in which they were written, but serve as self-contained cultural vignettes. The paper addresses approximately 100 years of U.S. history, a time span difficult to completely capture in the reflections of only three novels. The ideological context of any era is complex and difficult to grasp. While morality, nationhood, and productivity effectively capture many of the ideological shifts described in the paper, other categories may be valid. Other veins of ideological thought may influence an understanding of these novels. The novels examined in the paper do not evidence the success of Progressive education; instead, the novels portray teachers as confronting students. However, two broader lessons result from this study: first, current debates about violence in schools are informed by this study, and second, pathways are opened to study images of teachers and schools that have become more widespread with the use of television and film. Includes 27 notes. (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A