ERIC Number: EJ1138207
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
Red Scare in the Sunshine State: Anti-Communism and Academic Freedom in Florida Public Schools, 1945-1960
Dahlgren, Robert L.
Cogent Education, v3 n1 Article 1262307 2016
Academic freedom has long been a sacrosanct principle in higher education; however, the same rights to intellectual autonomy have rarely been afforded K-12 practitioners. In times of national political crisis, the abilities of teachers to engage students in the crucial debates about contemporary public policy issues have been stretched to the breaking point. Florida public education between 1945 and 1961 represents a model case of the southeastern political establishment's efforts to thwart progressivism in public schools between World War II and reapportionment. Under the guise of "Americanism," self-defined "patriotic" groups such as The American Legion, the Chambers of Commerce, and Daughters of the American Revolution intervened in educational policies in order to impose strict limits on academic freedom in public schools in an effort to quash what they considered the "Communist threat" in American education. Utilizing archival sources, newspaper articles and correspondence, much of it housed in the Florida State Archives in Tallahassee, this proposed paper details the last stand of segregationist and anti-communist forces in Florida education. It focuses on three important cases spanning the period and the Florida peninsula from Jacksonville to Miami in order to investigate the influence of conservative groups and individuals on postwar educational policy in the state. The findings of this study are a clarion call for educators to guard themselves against future incursions into their ability to teach as they see fit.
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Public Schools, Educational History, United States History, Patriotism, Social Systems, Educational Policy, State Policy, Political Issues, War, National Security, Unions, Teacher Associations
Cogent OA. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida