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ERIC Number: EJ818464
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0584
The Intellectual Climate of the Late Nineteenth Century and the Fate of American Normal Schools
Diener, David
American Educational History Journal, v35 n1 p61-79 2008
In 1839 the first normal school in the United States opened in Lexington, Massachusetts. Heralded as "an instrument of great good" (Everett 1863, 769) and a spring in which was coiled "a vigor whose uncoiling may wheel the spheres" (Ogren 2005, 16), normal schools continued to grow in numbers throughout the nineteenth century and produced thousands of teachers. Within a century of its beginning, however, the normal school movement in the United States had all but come to an end. In this paper the author offers a hypothesis as to why this occurred by examining the intellectual climate of the years 1880-1895 and analyzing how the normal schools responded to it. To this end, the author first addresses the intellectual debates concerning education that were taking place during these years. He then analyzes the normal schools' relationship with these developments and argues that it was their response (or lack thereof) to this intellectual context that began the process of their eventual demise.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A