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Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
Challenging Orthodoxies: Toward a New Cultural History of Education

Challenging Orthodoxies: Toward a New Cultural History of Education

by Sol Cohen


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Challenging Orthodoxies explores the implications of linguistics, literary criticism, and language theory in general for historians of education. This book introduces the core ideas of the «linguistic turn» and some of its major theorists, Hayden White, Richard Rorty, Michel Foucault, and Clifford Geertz. By arguing for the primacy of language, textuality, and linguistic structures in historical narratives, this study revises conventional understanding of the writing and interpretation of histories of education. The author reassesses the oeuvre and career of the late Lawrence A. Cremin, generally acknowledged as the most important historian of American education of his time. By redescribing progressive education solely as a language system, the author transforms our understanding both of the progressive education movement and of its continuing influence on American education. In his exploration of the mental hygiene movement and the «medicalization» of American education, the author uncovers a new chapter in the history of American education. The author breaks new ground in tracking the influence of school reform movements on change in education and provides fresh contexts for discussing present and future prospects for school reform in the United States by defining language and language systems as evidentiary sources and basic units of historical inquiry. Challenging Orthodoxies also calls attention to film as a legitimate source for historical research and interpretation of American education and demonstrates that integrating film into the historiography of education is feasible and productive in broadening our understanding both of history and of education.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820439402
Publisher: Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/28/1999
Series: Counterpoints of Education Ser.
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 326

About the Author

The Author: Sol Cohen is Professor at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles. He received his Ph.D. in History from Columbia University and now specializes in the areas of history of American education, cultural studies, historiography, and historical methodology. He is a past President of the History of Education Society (U.S.). He has published extensively in the United States and abroad. He is editor of the five-volume Education in the United States: A Documentary History (1974), and coeditor of From the Campus: Perspectives on the School Reform Movement (1989), and the special issue of Paedagogica Historica on «History of Education in the Postmodern Era (1996).»

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