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ERIC Number: EJ804333
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
"Treason in the Textbooks": Reinterpreting the Harold Rugg Textbook Controversy in the Context of Wartime Schooling
Dorn, Charles
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v44 n4 p457-479 Aug 2008
For most educational historians, the Harold Rugg textbook controversy serves as an example of the mid-twentieth-century "assault" on progressive education. By restricting their analyses of the textbook controversy to the "rise and fall" of the progressivism paradigm, however, scholars have generally missed Americans' more measured approach to the public school curriculum during World War II. That conservative opponents succeeded in having Rugg's texts banned in some districts during a period of national crisis is hardly surprising; the United States has a rich history of politicized debate over public school textbooks. What is surprising, however, is the extent to which Rugg's opponents failed to mount a broader textbook censorship movement during the war years. Although accurately representing the virulence with which right-wing conservatives criticized Rugg, historians have understated the extent to which reactionaries' charges against the author and his books were dismissed in towns and cities throughout the United States. Examining the Rugg textbook controversy within the context of wartime schooling, therefore, illuminates not so much the "decline" or "fall" of progressive education as the primarily moderate approach most Americans took towards the public school curriculum, even in the midst of a total war. Frequently characterized as defending the status quo during periods of peace and stability, such moderation was a virtue in a time of national crisis. (Contains 109 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A