Download Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and by Jonathan Zimmerman PDF

By Jonathan Zimmerman

The little purple schoolhouse has all yet disappeared within the usa, yet its significance in nationwide reminiscence continues to be unshakable. This enticing booklet examines the background of the one-room university and the way successive generations of usa citizens have remembered—and simply as frequently misremembered—this strong nationwide icon.  Drawing on a wealthy diversity of resources, from firsthand bills to poems, songs, and movies, Jonathan Zimmerman strains the evolution of attitudes towards the little purple schoolhouse from the overdue 19th century to the current day. every now and then it was once celebrated as an emblem of misplaced rural virtues or America’s democratic background; at others it used to be denounced because the epitome of inefficiency and substandard teachers. and as the one-room college has been an invaluable logo for liberal, conservative, and different agendas, the reality of its heritage has occasionally been stretched. but the idyllic photograph of the schoolhouse nonetheless unites americans. For greater than a century, it has embodied the nation’s most sensible aspirations and—especially—its carrying on with religion in schooling itself. (20081204)

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Extra info for Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory (Icons of America)

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23 Shame and humiliation lay at the heart of other disciplinary measures, which instructors of both sexes employed freely. Teachers rarely put dunce caps on troublemakers, despite the caps’ frequent appearance in cartoons and other print media. But schools did develop a wide range of ways to embarrass wrongdoers in the hope of making them do right. Since most miscreants were male—and since the sexes often sat separately in schools— the most common form of degradation was to make a “bad boy” sit with the girls; in some cases, he was also forced to wear a sunbonnet.

African Americans across the rural South built new, larger schools with the aid of the philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, whose fund donated more than $4 million for five thousand black schools between 1917 and 1932. ” From the start, Rosenwald made no secret about his preference for consolidated buildings. “Get away as much as possible from the one-teacher school in favor of two or more teacher school,” he wrote in a 1917 memo, marked “Important” by an aide. By 1921 just one-third of the schools he aided were single teacher; and by 1930, when the fund phased out aid to one-room schools altogether, the average Rosenwald school had more than three instructors.

Nor could women teachers escape the wrath of bad boys scorned. In the most notorious incident, four boys in Canton, Massachusetts, stoned their feeble teacher to death after she detained them past dismissal time. More commonly, students challenged female teachers with pranks rather than direct physical confrontation. Once women started driving to rural schools, boys pushed their cars into ditches or left dead skunks inside; some female teachers were locked into the outhouse. Finally, teachers of both sexes were routinely barred from the school itself.

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