- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 5, 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195028929
- ISBN-13: 978-0195028928
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 5.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #991,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Schooled to Order: A Social History of Public Schooling in the United States 1st Edition
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"A significant new addition to the field of educational and social history. The broad perspective and effective blending of varying historical assessments reveal Nasaw's strength as a writer and historian."--Journal of Southern History
"An important and provocative first book."--History: Reviews of New Books
From the Back Cover
'This is history of education in its finest tradition, i.e., education s social history rather than as mere schooling... Carefully researched, well written, and even-handed, Nasaw's book is an important addition to the debate over the evolution of public education in the United States.'
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As with Benjamin Rush, often referred to as the father of American psychiatry, Nasaw focuses on the use of public education to create a conforming, tractable, and behaviorally uniform citizenry. We often fail to recognize that at least as early as the 1830's, American's with substantial property and an abundance of wealth in other forms, were concerned that increasing religious, political, national, and linguistic diversity would render precarious their holdings and privileges. This is an important reason why the early American aristocracy was hostile to creation of a parallel Catholic educational system in the nation's cities.
The American aristocracy's hope, as with Rush, was that the public schools would imbue students with a sort of internal policeman, an internalized set of norms that would make rebellious departure from the status quo virtually unthinkable. Their educational objectives were much more straightforward than persuading young people that we were all in the same boat, just occupying different positions, with the processes whereby one's location was determined operating in a fair and even-handed way, eventually providing at least a modicum of opportunity for all.
The American aristocracy's expectations for public education were not nearly this circumspect, nor were they based on a notion a shared responsibility and fundamental fairness. Instead, they wanted inculcation of rigidly controlling norms such that being socially or politically unconventional or criminal would be literally unthinkable.
Nasaw provides a clear and compelling account of the use of schooling to produce an orderly citizenry. This is not the best of the critically evaluative histories of education, but it makes a significant contribution and, all tolled, is a good read.