- Series: Monographs in German History (Book 27)
- Hardcover: 236 pages
- Publisher: Berghahn Books; 1 edition (July 30, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1845455681
- ISBN-13: 978-1845455682
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,258,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learning Democracy: Education Reform in West Germany, 1945-1965 (Monographs in German History) 1st Edition
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Winner of the American Educational Research Association's 2011 New Scholar's Book Award
"The use of sources is outstanding. One of the achievements of this book is its significance for Americanists and Europeanists. For the former, he situates his study in a conversation about American education for democracy in the post-WWII world. For Europeanists he concludes by looking back from 1968, claiming persuasively that the reforms of the 50s and 60s create the necessary conditions for student protests later on. The book is also significant in that it is the only ground-level examination in any language of the US reconstruction of West Germany written for over twenty years... Finally, the book tells us something about democratic education as such. By looking at student government, newspapers, and other extra or co-curricular activities, as well as course offerings and textbooks, Puaca reminds us that education is much more than the explicit curriculum." · From the Committee's Report
"Puaca has produced an innovative, coherently organized, and elegantly written book that challenges us to rethink some of our preconceived notions on education reform in the early Federal Republic." · American Historical Review
"...challenges a standard narrative that envisions the late 1960s as the moment when an assault on the conservativism of the 1950s took place. The book's strengths lie in its meticulous examination of the gradual development of educational innovations and in its ability to capture the voices of students and teachers from that period...[It] is an important new addition to the scholarship [and] a rich and welcome contribution to the fields of German history and the history of education." · Central European History
"By tracing the progression of internal reforms first chronologically and then thematically, Puaca's most important contribution is to reveal the education reform process as a subtle, gradual, ground-level transformation that was instigated and achieved largely by Germans. While the American impact during the occupation years and beyond was real, German public schools were by no means Americanized." · German Politics & Society
"Without a doubt, [this study] provides an important reinterpretation of West German society in the first two decades after the war. It is a work that will change the historiography of educational reforms generally and West Germany specifically, and one that belongs on the shelves of all historians interested in modern European and US history." · German History
"This book offers important differentiations and corrections [of the existing research]. It contributes to the dismantling of the myth of the 'sixty-eighters': long before this spectacular year there were fundamental, gradually implemented reforms and successful institutional attempts at democratization on which the activists of 1968 were often able to build, without necessarily being aware of it." · Historische Zeitschrift
"Brian M. Puaca tells a German success story that historians have missed...[He] makes a compelling case that German resistance to American prescriptions did not preclude democratic change...[and] offers a new framework for the post-World War II period." · H-Education
"...[a] splendid account of education reform in West Germany from 1945 to 1965...Shifting attention from dramatic, centralized events to subtle, gradual evolution, Learning Democracy deepens our understanding of how school change happens in any place and era." · History of Education Quarterly
"...well written, well organized, extremely well supported by documentation ... and well reasoned." · James Tent, author of Mission on the Rhine: Reeducation and Denazification in American-Occupied Germany
About the Author
Brian Puaca is Assistant Professor of History at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. He received the 2006 Claude Eggertsen Prize for the most outstanding dissertation in the history of education from the History of Education Society.
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