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What Do You Think, Mr. Ramirez? : The American Revolution in Education (Hardcover) (Geoffrey Galt
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Some fifty years ago, a Cuban teenager landed penniless and without papers on the Florida shore. Soon he had earned his GED and found his way to a community college, a literature class, and an encounter with a Shakespeare sonnet. An instructor asked him, ?Mr. Ramirez, what do you think?” It was a question that changed his life. By the time Geoffrey Harpham met him, Mr. Ramirez had become a distinguished professor at an American university. ?What do YOU think?” This question and the fact that it was asked in a community college humanities classroom tell us much about the postwar ideals that made American higher education so revolutionary. What were Americans thinking when we created the educational system that could work such wonders? What conditions made it possible? And why is it today so embattled? Reaching back to the era of the Founders, Harpham traces the deep historical roots of our interest in the citizen’s opinion, and the corresponding prominence of textual interpretation in American education. He explores America’s path toward general, liberal education, focusing on its Golden Age immediately following WWII. And he puzzles out why the country turned to English teachers as the people best positioned to train students to thrive as interpreters, which is to say as citizens of a democracy. Harpham shows that the American system of general, liberal education formalized in the middle of the twentieth century can still inspire us in the early twenty-first. Public education in the US is everywhere under assault, and so too is the ideal of education that cultivates individuals and citizens rather than merely trains employees. Harpham recovers the core elements of liberal education in order that we might give them new form in the contemporary world. ?What Do YOU Think?” teaches us that the American revolution in education, like the pursuit of happiness, is not yet finished.
Number of Pages: 230
Genre: Education, History, Literary Criticism
Sub-Genre: Education, History
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Author: Geoffrey Galt Harpham
Street Date: August 23, 2017
Item Number (DPCI): 248-48-7832
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