The Common School Awakening: Religion and the Transatlantic Roots of American Public Education (Hardback)
  • The Common School Awakening: Religion and the Transatlantic Roots of American Public Education (Hardback)
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The Common School Awakening: Religion and the Transatlantic Roots of American Public Education (Hardback)

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£71.00
Hardback 312 Pages
Published: 16/10/2020
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A statue of Horace Mann, erected in front of the Boston State House in 1863, declares him the "Father of the American Public School System." For over a century and a half, most narratives about early American education have taken this epithet as the truth. As Mann looms over the Boston Common, so he has also loomed over discussions of early American schooling. Other scholarship has emphasized economic factors as the main reason for the emergence of public schools. The Common School Awakening offers a new narrative about the rise of public schools in America that counters these conceptions. In this book, David Komline explains how a broad and distinctly American religious consensus emerged in the first half of the nineteenth century, allowing people from across the religious spectrum to cooperate in systematizing and professionalizing America's schools in an effort to Christianize the country. At the height of this movement, several states introduced state-sponsored teacher training colleges and concentrated government oversight of schools in offices such as the one held by Mann. Shortly thereafter, the religious consensus that had served as the foundation for this common school system disintegrated. But the system itself remained, the legacy of not just one man, but of a whole network of reformers who put into motion a transatlantic and transdenominational religious movement - the "Common School Awakening."

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190085155
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 600 g
Dimensions: 244 x 165 x 27 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Komline's meticulous account will be of interest to scholars of education, religion, and reform. Moreover, its simultaneously sympathetic and analytical approach to reformers' good intentions, mixed achievements, and unintended results - along with its graceful narrative - makes it a quiet pleasure to read. * Catherine O'Donnell, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth *
The Common School Awakening is an extremely valuable book and I recommend it highly to readers of Church History or any historian of religion or of education, especially those interested in the Second Great Awakening and the Common School Revival and the interplay between the two. * James W. Fraser, New York University, Church History *
Though often a component of any understanding of American education, half-truths too often dominate explanations of the common school's birth in the US. In The Common School Awakening, Komline (Western Theological Seminary) sets the record straight on several key misperceptions. ... [H]e provides a critical component to any accurate understanding of the development of the common school specifically, American education generally, and the nation that both helped mold. * J. R. Edwards, CHOICE *
Komline's study brings attention to the under-explored religious dimension of the rise of American public education, and provides much-needed insight into the origins some of the perennial tensions of public education in a pluralistic society. * Ryan David Shelton, New Books Network *
Contemporary discussions of American public schools often involve two dimensions: first, how much better schools are in other parts of the world; second, the divisive intersection of religion and education. David Komline's new book is an essential guide to understanding the roots of those debates, significantly deepening our understanding of the development of the American public-school system in the first part of the nineteenth century * John G. Turner, George Mason University *
The arrival of The Common School Awakening will give historians, education theorists, and policy scholars much to reconsider. Generally considered to have begun in the 1830s in Massachusetts, Komline shows that the common school movement actually had its origins across the Atlantic and at least a generation earlier, before the turn of the nineteenth century. Quite frankly, I am persuaded by the case he makes-and it will change the way I think and write about the rise of common schools in America. Given that debates over public schools in American have in many ways been debates over the nature of democracy and all that it entails, this is no small accomplishment. * Luke Harlow, author of Religion, Race, and the Making of Confederate Kentucky, 1830-1880 *

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