The Young Composers: Composition's Beginnings in Nineteenth-Century Schools

The Young Composers: Composition's Beginnings in Nineteenth-Century Schools

by Lucille M. Schultz
     
 

Lucille M. Schultz's The Young Composers: Composition's Beginnings in Nineteenth-Century Schools is the first full-length history of school-based writing instruction. Schultz demonstrates that writing instruction in nineteenth-century American schools is much more important in the overall history of writing instruction than we have previously

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Overview

Lucille M. Schultz's The Young Composers: Composition's Beginnings in Nineteenth-Century Schools is the first full-length history of school-based writing instruction. Schultz demonstrates that writing instruction in nineteenth-century American schools is much more important in the overall history of writing instruction than we have previously assumed.

Drawing on primary materials that have not been considered in previous histories of writing instruction—little-known textbooks and student writing that includes prize-winning essays, journal entries, letters, and articles written for school newspapers—Schultz shows that in nineteenth-century American schools, the voices of the British rhetoricians that dominated college writing instruction were attenuated by the voice of the Swiss education reformer Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. Partly through the influence of Pestalozzi's thought, writing instruction for children in schools became child-centered, not just a replica or imitation of writing instruction in the colleges.

It was also in these nineteenth-century American schools that personal or experience-based writing began and where the democratization of writing was institutionalized. These schools prefigured some of our contemporary composition practices: free writing, peer editing, and the use of illustrations as writing prompts. It was in these schools, in fact, where composition instruction as we know it today began, Schultz argues.

This book features a chapter on the agency of textbook iconography, which includes illustrations from nineteenth-century composition books as well as a cultural analysis of those illustrations. Schultz also includes a lengthy bibliography of nineteenth-century composition textbooks and student and school newspapers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780809322367
Publisher:
Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date:
03/01/1999
Series:
Studies in Writing and Rhetoric Series
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
1490L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Lucille M. Schultz is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Cincinnati.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Telling Our Stories3
1The Beginnings of Composition in Early Nineteenth-Century Schools11
2First Books of Composition34
3"No Ideas but in Things"56
4The Agency of Textbook Iconography85
5Textual Practices of the Young Composers107
Conclusion: "We Say to Him, Write!"144
App. 1Tables of Contents from John Frost's Easy Exercises (1839) and George Quackenbos's First Lessons (1851)169
App. 2Three Student Readings of an Illustration, 1886174
App. 3Student Essay: June 20, 1846177
App. 4Excerpt from Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Autobiography, Eighty Years and More179
Notes183
Bibliography193
Index211

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