Ten Days that Shook the World of Education: A Close Look at the People who Facilitated Educational Change focuses on the critical moments that changed the course of our unique educational experiment. These important incidents reveal how everyday people such as Jean Jacque Rousseau, Joseph Lancaster, Emma Willard, Horace Mann, William McGuffey, John Dewey, W.E.B. DuBois, Horace Mann Bond, Thurgood Marshall, and the kids at Parkland High School did extraordinary things and took a stand against injustice to change educational history. By centering our attention on individuals who faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles and then acted to challenge them, we offer a more personal perspective on what has been called the greatest social experiment of man.
Donald Parkerson is the Distinguished Professor of Teaching in the History Department at East Carolina University. He has published six books on the history of education with his coauthor, Jo Ann Parkerson.
Jo Ann Parkerson is Professor Emeritus of Education at Methodist University. Previously she taught in the public schools and has published six books on the history of education with his coauthor, Donald Parkerson.
About the Authors
This cleverly engaging collection of biographical vignettes is a provocative text for lower-level undergraduate courses on the social foundations of education. Written in a highly accessible and direct style, this volume captures the popular impulse to regard history as the mark of particular dates and events. The contemporary relevance of its historical subjects is never far from the surface. Most important, the 10 subjects are wisely chosen and cover a substantial range, from key educational and social theorists (e.g., Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Dewey, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Horace Mann) to school builders and reformers (e.g., Joseph Lancaster, Emma Willard, and William McGuffey) to social activists (e.g., Thurgood Marshall and “the kids” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida). The authors tell the story of how these “everyday people did extraordinary things to challenge injustice and facilitate educational change” (p. xi). Of course, in some instances their historical interpretation is contentious—e.g., many readers will take exception to seeing Lancaster’s schools as a boon to the working poor or McGuffey's Readers as expressing unimpeachable values. However, this contentiousness is precisely what will provoke and engage readers. Recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduates.
As a professor of History Education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, I am continually working to help my students understand the implications of the intersection of history and educational trends and practice. The history of our nation and world are inextricably connected with our want and need to prepare the next generation to face the anticipated challenges of tomorrow. Ten Days helps instructors like me who want to bridge the gap between our societal history and our educational practice by contextualizing important educational events within a broader historical framework. In the past I have embarked didactically on this journey myself. Ten Days now gives me a central text through which to facilitate meaningful historical dialogue around the intersection between society and education.
Who are the extraordinary figures that challenged injustice in our collective educational history? Drs. Don and Jo Ann Parkerson address this timely question in Ten Days that Shook the World of Education by unpacking ten critical moments spanning 250 years. This work helps us better understand conditions for restructuring the American education system and provides a much-needed long view of educational change, especially in an era where stark inequities persist. Readers will discover how institutional forces of religion, economics, politics, and philosophy interact over time to shape what is now our modern schooling system.