INNOCENTS ABROAD

INNOCENTS ABROAD

Jonathan Zimmerman
Copyright Date: 2006
Published by: Harvard University Press
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt13x0gmn
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  • Book Info
    INNOCENTS ABROAD
    Book Description:

    Until the early twentieth century, teachers went abroad with assumptions of their own superiority. But by the mid-twentieth century, they became far more self-questioning about their social assumptions, their educational theories, and the complexity of their role in a foreign society. Drawing on extensive archives of teachers' letters and accounts, Zimmerman's narrative explores the teachers' shifting attitudes about their country and themselves, in a world that was more unexpected than they could have imagined.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-04545-3
    Subjects: Education, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Introduction: ABOARD THE USS THOMAS
    (pp. 1-20)

    On July 23, 1901, the U.S. transport shipThomasset sail from San Francisco Bay for the Philippines. On its previous voyages, a local newspaper noted, the USSThomashad left the bay “laden with warriors and grim armaments.” But now it carried “a peaceful army of gentle pedagogues,” whose only “ammunition” would be schoolbooks, pencils, paper, and chalk. The 526 teachers aboard theThomasincluded 346 men and 180 women, hailing from 43 different states and 193 colleges, universities, and normal schools. Ten of the teachers had served as soldiers in the Philippines, which had come under American rule...

  5. I American Dilemmas
    • [I Introduction]
      (pp. 21-22)

      In his classic 1944 study of American race relations, the Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal underlined a huge contradiction at the heart of American life. On the one hand, Myrdal wrote, white Americans proudly professed their enduring faith in human equality, while on the other hand, they demonstrated a profound prejudice against their black countrymen. Over time, Myrdal confidently asserted, this “American Dilemma” would dissipate. White Americans would abandon overt racial discrimination, bringing their practices into closer accord with their principles. Meanwhile, black Americans would lose their own distinct cultural traits. “American negro culture” was a “distorted development,” Myrdal wrote, “a...

    • 1 The American Method CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION, DISCIPLINE, AND THE DILEMMAS OF CULTURE
      (pp. 23-50)

      In November 1901, Harry Cole sent two bitter letters from his post in the Philippines to his home in Michigan. After arriving in the islands three months earlier aboard the transport ship USSThomas, Cole had tried to teach Filipinos via the “American Method”: rather than simply drilling dry facts from the blackboard or a textbook, he used objects in the room to demonstrate and discuss new concepts. But the American Method simply did not suit his non-American charges. “I find this work very monotonous trying to teach these monkeys,” Cole wrote. “I would give something to see a bright...

    • 2 The American Curriculum “PRACTICAL” EDUCATION AND THE DILEMMAS OF VOCATIONALISM
      (pp. 51-80)

      In 1909, the American Industrial Mission of British East Africa held a ceremony to lay the cornerstone of a new school building. The speaker for the event was none other than Theodore Roosevelt, who had come to Africa on a big-game hunting expedition after leaving the White House. Roosevelt began with a few jokes, cautioning his hosts that the “native” might elude their pursuit—just like lions and tigers sometimes evaded him. “Missionaries have been working in England and America for hundreds of years and all the savages are not converted; not even in the U.S. Senate,” Roosevelt quipped. In...

    • 3 Schooling for All? AMERICAN TEACHERS AND THE DILEMMAS OF EQUALITY
      (pp. 81-112)

      In 1901, British journalist W.T. Stead published a prescient book with an evocative title:The Americanization of the World.The United States would soon rule the globe, Stead argued, due in large part to America’s tradition of universal education. “It is to the little red school-house . . . that we must go to find the sceptre of the American dominion,” Stead wrote. “In America everybody, from the richest to the poorest, considers that education is a boon, a necessity of life, and the more education they get the better it is for the whole country.” Even more, Stead rhapsodized,...

  6. II American Critiques
    • [II Introduction]
      (pp. 113-116)

      In 1904, St. Louis hosted the World’s Fair to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. It devoted no fewer than 130 buildings to the Philippine Islands, including a model classroom with dozens of “real Filipino children” who were transported to America for the event. President Theodore Roosevelt attended one of the classroom lessons, praising American educators for bringing “civilization” to the tropics. Elsewhere at the fair, however, America’s leading cultural anthropologist warned against presuming that American education—or, indeed, American culture—was inherently superior. Addressing an audience of international scholars, Franz Boas argued that the “anthropological method”...

    • 4 The Protective Garb of the “Job” TEACHER PROFESSIONALISM AND ITS CRITICS
      (pp. 117-151)

      In 1904, Helen P. Beattie wrote an article describing her fellow American teachers in the Philippines. “There were fresh young college graduates seeking adventure or a sight of the Orient, or money with which to resume study,” she began. “Earnest men and women signed for the work whose only qualification was missionary zeal, and with them came the kickers whose only object in life seemed to be criticism of the rest.” A few Americans had taught for long periods in the United States, Beattie added, but this background became irrelevant when they went abroad. “The experienced teachers who came with...

    • 5 Going Global, or Going It Alone? AMERICAN TEACHERS AND CHURCH–STATE RELATIONS
      (pp. 152-180)

      In October 1902, an American Presbyterian in India condemned his mission for accepting state funds for its schools. Across the British Empire, Edgar M. Wilson noted, colonial governments offered grants-in-aid to religious schools that maintained minimum standards in facilities, curriculum, and inspection. But when Americans accepted such aid, Wilson argued, they violated “the fundamental principle” of their own nation: the separation of church and state. Just ten years earlier, he recalled, Presbyterians in the United States had denounced federal assistance to denominational schools for American Indians, but now the church accepted such aid on behalf of Asian Indians, dismissing the...

    • 6 Ambivalent Imperialists AMERICAN TEACHERS AND THE PROBLEM OF EMPIRE
      (pp. 181-210)

      In 1908, the American journalist Edgar Allen Forbes published an article about American teachers around the world. In bold block letters, a lengthy headline announced his theme: “The Vast Intellectual Empire of Government Teachers and Protestant Missionaries Working Under Many Flags.” To Forbes and his editors, clearly, Jesuits and other American Catholics did not form a part of this “empire.” Even more, the empire was intellectual—an empire of ideas—rather than one of force. Forbes contrasted it to the British empire, which combined educationwithforce. To underline the point, he quoted England’s most famous imperial poet:

      They terribly...

  7. Epilogue: AMERICAN TEACHERS IN A GLOBAL AGE
    (pp. 211-224)

    On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was walking to work through Washington Square Park when a homeless man asked me for money. I shook my head, no, and trudged on.

    “World Trade Center’s on fire,” he called after me. I ignored him, without even looking up at the Twin Towers.

    World Trade Center’s on fire.When I reached my office, I found out that he was right. A few hours later, both towers crumbled into smoke, dust, and death. I spent the next week contacting friends and students, to make sure they were safe—and to assure them...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 225-290)
  9. Index
    (pp. 291-300)