Jane Addams, the founder of Hull House in Chicago, may be best known as a social activist. She was also a brilliantly critical intellectual. Implicit in her many speeches, articles, and books is a view of education as a broad process of cultural transformation and renewal, a view that remains as compelling today as when it was first presented. Addams sees education as the foundation of democracy, the basis for the free expression of ideas.
Addams’s writings on education are interpreted in an enlightening bio-graphical introduction by Ellen Lagemann. After the initial publication of this work, Barbara L. Jacquette of the Delta Group, Inc., in Phoenix wrote, “Professor Lagemann has brought life and immediacy to Jane Addams’s work. Better, she has given us a context that shows us that some of our most pressing issues today are simply old problems in new guises, problems for which some of the old solutions may still be of use.” Gerald Lee Gutek of Loyola University of Chicago commented “Lagemann’s insightful and sensitive biography reveals Addams’s transformation from a reserved graduate of a small women’s college into the Progressive reformer and pioneer of the settlement house movement.”
The essays collected here span a significant portion of Jane Addams’s life, from the time she spent in college to her founding of Hull House and beyond. Addams’s constant interest in education is reflected in her writings. This book also reveals the many influences on Addams’s life, including the philosopher and educator John Dewey. On Education is an important work for educators, women’s studies specialists, social workers, and historians.