Life Stories

Exploring Issues in Educational History Through Biography

Edited by:
Linda C. Morice, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Laurel Puchner, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Published 2013

Life Stories: Exploring Issues in Educational History Through Biography consists of 13 essays, each of which offers perspective on one of four key questions that have long drawn scholarly attention: What should schools teach? Who gets to decide? How should educators adapt to a changing world to provide opportunity for all students? How should educators’ experiences be interpreted for future audiences?

The book is written to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the International Society for Educational Biography and its journal, Vitae Scholasticae. All of the essays have appeared in the journal, and they are set in a variety of educational environments that span 174 years. Taken together, the essays demonstrate the important contributions that biography can make to educational history.

Life Stories would be of interest to educational biographers and historians for use in their own scholarly work. Instructors might also consider assigning Life Stories as a required text in educational history courses.

Preface, Linda C. Morice and Laurel Puchner. Introduction, Linda C. Morice and Laurel Puchner. PART I: THE SCOPE AND NATURE OF EDUCATION. Racially Integrated Education: The Antebellum Thought of Mary Ann Shadd Cary and Frederick Douglass, Carol B. Conaway. Company Schooling in the New South: Lawrence Peter Hollis and the Parker Mill Schools in South Carolina, Bart Dredge. Dreams Deferred: White Reaction to Langston Hughes’ Depression-Era Educational Tour of the South, Bart Dredge and Cayce Tabor. PART II: ADVANCING AN EDUCATIONAL AGENDA. Education and Politics in Texas: The Legacies of Laurine C. Anderson and Edward L. Blackshear, Jared R. Stallones. Adventitiously Blind, Advantageously Political: John Eldred Swearingen and Social Definitions of Disability in Progressive-Era South Carolina, Edward A. Janak. Correspondence Study and the “Crime of the Century”: Helen Williams, Nathan Leopold, and the Stateville Correspondence School, Von Pittman. PART III: EDUCATIONAL REFORM. The Second Great Awakening and American Educational Reform: Insights From the Biography of John Milton Gregory, John F. Wakefield. More Valuable Than Even Radium: Christine Ladd-Franklin’s Perspective on Intellect and the Life of the Mind, Andrea Walton. Lucy Spence Morice: Working Toward a Just Society Via the Education of Citizens and Socialist Feminist Collective Action, Lynne Trethewey. George S. Counts: Leading Social Reconstructionist, Bruce Romanish. PART IV: INTERPRETING EDUCATORS’ LIVES. Beyond Life Writing: Reflections on Biography and Historiography, A. J. Angulo. Contextualizing and Contesting National Identities: Lillian de Lissa, 1885-1967, Kay Whitehead. Necessary Betrayals: Reflections on Biographical Work on a Racist Ancestor, Lucy E. Bailey. About the Editors/Authors. Index.

"In summary, Life Stories provides engaging snapshots across slices of time and place through deconstructing the complex relation between historical moments and the biographical back stories of the actors who shaped educational trajectories. Biographical detail affirms the power of sociocultural forces in shaping historical narratives as we hear echoes in our own discourse and ventriloquate the voices of educators across the ages." Dr. Virginia Navarro University of Missouri-St. Louis in PsycCRITIQUES (Read full review)

"An ubiquitous complaint about the analytical and topical studies historians often produce is that the lives of people, their daily struggles, the weight of their choices in tense moments, the connection between the personal and the professional, and the defining themes of their lives and careers are absent or underappreciated. Biography can address this complaint by offering important ways to critically connect people and their lives to larger ideas and events. Life Stories: Exploring Issues in Educational History Through Biography, a collection of essays by Linda C. Morice and Laurel Puchner, is an important, stimulating effort to bring biographical perspectives to educational history." Carlos Kevin Blanton in Teachers College Record