The first history of American socialist education for children
Schooling for "Good Rebels"
Socialist Education for Children in the United States, 1900-1920
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During the first two decades of this century, American Socialists organized weekend schools for children to foster social justice, working-class consciousness and solidarity, and activism. Kenneth Teitelbaum explores the historical development, organization, institutional characteristics, and curriculum of these alternative educational settings, particularly those in New York City, Rochester, and Milwaukee. In his discussion of this historic effort to contest the dominant messages of capitalist culture, he highlights the political nature of the school's curricula and relates the socialist Sunday School project to current efforts to promote a more socially responsible curriculum.
Through archival research and interviews with former student and teachers of the socialist Sunday schools, Teitelbaum is able to provide the first detailed study of American socialist efforts in the area of childhood education. He presents the actual curricula used with children in radical school settings and discusses the various teaching methods used. More than 10,000 children, ages five to fourteen, attended approximately 100 socialist Sunday schools in sixty-four cities and towns throughout the U.S. between 1900 and 1920.
"Kenneth Teitelbaum has written an informative and well-documented book on a neglected aspect of American history. Anyone interested in the socialist movement and in experiments in children's education would be well advised to read it."
Kenneth Teitelbaum is Associate Professor in the Division of Education at the State University of New York at Binghamton.