Innocents Abroad: American Teachers in the American Century / Edition 1

Innocents Abroad: American Teachers in the American Century / Edition 1

by Jonathan Zimmerman
     
 

Protestant missionaries in Latin America. Colonial "civilizers" in the Pacific. Peace Corps Volunteers in Africa. Since the 1890s, thousands of American teachers—mostly young, white, middle-class, and inexperienced—have fanned out across the globe. Innocents Abroad tells the story of what they intended to teach and what lessons they

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Overview

Protestant missionaries in Latin America. Colonial "civilizers" in the Pacific. Peace Corps Volunteers in Africa. Since the 1890s, thousands of American teachers—mostly young, white, middle-class, and inexperienced—have fanned out across the globe. Innocents Abroad tells the story of what they intended to teach and what lessons they learned.

Drawing on extensive archives of the teachers' letters and diaries, as well as more recent accounts, Jonathan Zimmerman argues that until the early twentieth century, the teachers assumed their own superiority; they sought to bring civilization, Protestantism, and soap to their host countries. But by the mid-twentieth century, as teachers borrowed the concept of "culture" from influential anthropologists, they became far more self-questioning about their ethical and social assumptions, their educational theories, and the complexity of their role in a foreign society.

Filled with anecdotes and dilemmas—often funny, always vivid—Zimmerman's narrative explores the teachers' shifting attitudes about their country and themselves, in a world that was more unexpected and unsettling than they could have imagined.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674023611
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
10/30/2006
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.68(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: Aboard the USS Thomas     1
American Dilemmas     21
The American Method     23
The American Curriculum     51
Schooling for All?     81
American Critiques     113
The Protective Garb of the "Job"     117
Going Global, or Going It Alone?     152
Ambivalent Imperialists     181
Epilogue: American Teachers in a Global Age     211
Notes     225
Index     291

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