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ERIC Number: ED443120
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 231
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-0-8093-2236-6
The Young Composers: Composition's Beginnings in Nineteenth-Century Schools. Studies in Writing and Rhetoric.
Schultz, Lucille M.
This book, the first full-length history of school-based writing instruction, demonstrates that writing instruction in 19th-century American schools was more important than has previously been assumed in the overall history of writing instruction. Drawing on primary materials that have not been considered in previous histories of writing instruction (little-known textbooks and student writing that includes prize-winning essays, journal entries, letters, and articles written for school newspapers), the book shows that in 19th-century American schools the voices of the British rhetoricians that dominated college writing instruction were attenuated by the voice of the Swiss education reformer Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. It was partly through the influence of Pestalozzi's thought that writing instruction for children in schools became child-centered, not just a replica or imitation of writing instruction in the colleges. These 19th-century schools prefigured some contemporary composition practices: free writing, peer editing, and the use of illustrations as writing prompts. The book features a chapter on the agency of textbook iconography, which includes illustrations from 19th-century composition books as well as a cultural analysis of those illustrations. Contains an extensive bibliography of 19th-century composition textbooks and student and school newspapers. (NKA)
Southern Illinois University Press, P.O. Box 3697, Carbondale, IL 62902-3697 ($14.95). Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Conference on Coll. Composition and Communication, Urbana, IL.