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ERIC Number: ED541498
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1922
Pages: 168
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
English Grammar in American Schools before 1850. Bulletin, 1921, No. 12
Lyman, Rollo LaVerne
Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior
English grammar, as a formal subject, distinct from other branches of instruction in the vernacular, made but sporadic appearances in the American schools before 1775. After the Revolution its rise was extremely rapid. English grammar gained momentum as the hold of Latin grammar weakened, and by the end of the first quarter of the nineteenth century it became so generally taught that the common term grammar school, formerly applied to the secondary school of the Latin-grammar type, was now by common consent used to designate an intermediate school with English grammar as its central study. The past 25 years have seen a revival of attention to grammar, but of a very much saner type than before. No other study in the curriculum has had a more spectacular rise and a more dramatic fall. Moreover, concerning no other study to-day are educators more in doubt. The first purpose of this study is to trace the course of this rise and fall, with the changing educational ideals and theories accompanying it; to analyze the causes of the varied changes of the subject, and to determine when, where, why, and by, whom the successive modifications were inaugurated and carried out prior to 1850. The second purpose of this dissertation is to arrange systematically these varying methods used from 1750 to 1850 and to show how they are interrelated both with the shifting conceptions of the nature and purpose of grammar and with the place given the study in the curriculum. The third purpose is to establish with concrete data a basis of reliable facts, especially in the vague period of the English grammar before the American Revolution. A fourth purpose which this study has been compelled to consider incidentally is to show how grammar was interrelated with declamation, oratory, composition, and literature, as these five branches of instruction in the mother tongue of a higher order than reading, writing, and spelling gradually made their way into the program of American schools. Chapters covered in this paper include: (1) Early instruction in the vernacular preceding English grammar; (2) Early appearances of English grammar in America; (3) Influences adding grammars to the curriculum; (4) The rapid rise of grammar after 1775; (5) Traditional methods of teaching Latin grammar transferred to English grammar; and (6) Gradual changes in method before 1850. Appended are: (1) Chronological catalogue of English grammars in America before 1800; and (2) A comparison of the English programs of Turnbull and Franklin. An index is included. [Best copy available has been provided.]
Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education (ED)