ERIC Number: ED478726
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Mothering and Moralism during the Progressive Era: How Women's Associations Reinterpreted Science To Shape the School Curriculum.
The history of the early 20th century public school curriculum has established a narrative that investigates the transition from an emphasis on the liberal arts to a more functional, or useful, curriculum. This history details the influence of the developing social sciences and scientific thinking in debates among various interest groups to replace the humanities with tracks of learning that would prepare workers for an industrial society. Research has emphasized the authority of leading professional men who held administrative positions in school districts, universities, and learned societies. The voices of others, however, have been largely ignored in these historical accounts, in particular the role of women's voluntary organizations and why they supported the move toward relevance in the school curriculum. This paper, following the lead of Herbert Kliebard, uses the term "curriculum" to mean more than a list of prescribed courses, to include a broader function of schools as a reflection of certain values held by teachers, parents, administrators, and others. The paper argues that women volunteers played a pivotal role in shaping the school curriculum by interpreting and popularizing the writings of leading male educationists and social scientists. It examines the influence of the National Congress of Mothers (NCM) now the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) as a major national leader among women's associations of the Progressive Era that orchestrated national voluntary efforts to reform the school curriculum. (Contains 86 notes.) (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A