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Jane Addams in the Classroom

Jane Addams in the Classroom

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 232
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  • Book Info
    Jane Addams in the Classroom
    Book Description:

    Once intent on being good to people, Jane Addams later dedicated herself to the idea of being good with people, establishing mutually-responsive and reciprocal relationships with those she served at Hull House. The essays in Jane Addams in the Classroom explore how Addams's life, work, and philosophy provide invaluable lessons for teachers seeking connection with their students. Balancing theoretical and practical considerations, the collection examines Addams's emphasis on listening to and learning from those around her and encourages contemporary educators to connect with students through innovative projects and teaching methods. In the first essays, Addams scholars lay out how her narratives drew on experience, history, and story to explicate theories she intended as guides to practice. Six teacher-scholars then establish Addams's ongoing relevance by connecting her principles to exciting events in their own classrooms. An examination of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award and a fictional essay on Addams's work and ideas round out the volume. Accessible and wide-ranging, Jane Addams in the Classroom offers inspiration for educators while adding to the ongoing reconsideration of Addams's contributions to American thought. Contributors: Todd DeStigter, Lanette Grate, Susan Griffith, Lisa Junkin, Jennifer Krikava, Lisa Lee, Petra Munro, Bridget O'Rourke, David Schaafsma, Beth Steffen, Darren Tuggle, Erin Vail, and Ruth Vinz.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09660-0
    Subjects: Philosophy, Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction. In Search for a Form: Jane Addams, Hull-House, and Connecting Learning and Life
    (pp. 1-6)

    The reopening of the Hull-House dining room took place, fittingly, on a sunny day in May 2008. Historically speaking, the event was an unlikely one. Originally built in 1907 atop a boiler room, the dining hall—also known as the coffee house—had been slated for demolition in 1963 to make room for the downtown campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Due to the efforts of earnest preservationists, however, the building was instead pivoted ninety degrees, hauled several dozen feet across the grounds, and restored to approximate its original decor. Of the thirteen buildings that once made up...

  5. 1 In Good Company: Jane Addams’s Democratic Experimentalism
    (pp. 7-31)

    About two hours northwest of Chicago, ten miles south of the Wisconsin border, a sign beside a two-lane blacktop at the outskirts of an Illinois town, population 715, greets visitors with these words: “Cedarville, birthplace of Jane Addams, 1860–1935, Humanitarian, feminist, social worker, educator, author, publicist, founder of Hull-House pioneer settlement center, Chicago, 1889. President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Nobel Peace Prize, 1931.” Though the sign is a fitting tribute to Cedarville’s most famous resident, it also serves as an abbreviated curriculum vitae attesting to Addams’s broad repertoire of activities and her long list of associations...

  6. 2 “To Learn from Life Itself”: Experience and Education at Hull-House”
    (pp. 32-42)

    Even before Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr founded the Hull-House settlement in 1889, the former Hull mansion occupied a place in Chicago’s history. Built on a prairie southwest of the Chicago River in 1856 by the industrialist Charles Hull, the house had survived the Great Fire of 1871 that swept the city and paved the way for Chicago’s phenomenal growth as an industrial center. As development sprawled west of the river, the former residence was converted from house to warehouse. Its first floor was occupied by offices and storerooms when Addams and Starr rented its second floor to establish...

  7. 3 Problems of Memory, History, and Social Change: The Case of Jane Addams
    (pp. 43-59)

    That Jane Addams is one of the twentieth century’s most radical thinkers and pioneering pragmatist philosophers seems without question. While numerous academic works in political science, philosophy, sociology, history, and English continue to examine her unique contributions, she remains on the margins of educational philosophy and history. The reasons for this are part of a much larger project that includes an analysis of the ahistorical nature of education as well as the ongoing deintellectualization of our field. The ongoing “presentism” within the field of education obscures the role of history and more importantly, I will suggest in this essay, the...

  8. 4 Jane Addams: Citizen Writers and a “Wider Justice”
    (pp. 60-75)

    College graduates are routinely promised that during their lifetime they will earn one million dollars more than their non-degreed peers. The idea that a college education translates into economic prosperity is widespread, so much so that individual financial benefit rather than service to society has become for many the main goal of a higher education. When writing my dissertation on Jane Addams, I became increasingly convinced that spending endless hours researching and writing about her ideas without putting them into practice was antithetical to her pragmatic philosophy that modeled an active, participatory, transactional mode of experiential education capable of producing...

  9. 5 Student Stories and Jane Addams: Unfolding Reciprocity in an English Classroom
    (pp. 76-98)

    The teenagers who have bounced, slouched, fidgeted, slept, doodled, sulked, laughed, cried, or just sat in the circled desks in classrooms where I’ve taught—whether in southern Wisconsin’s small city, Beloit, or in Madison’s La Follette High School—are white, African American, Asian, African, Latino, Native American, mixed with blended ethnicities, male, and female. Many have had part-time jobs; some have been homeless. Some have been parents; a number have been parentless. Many have been athletes; a few have been wheelchair-bound. Some have been drug addicts, while others have never tasted alcohol. Some have been spoken-word poets and celebrated singers;...

  10. 6 Scaling Fences with Jane, William, and August: Meeting the Objective and Subjective Needs of Future University Students and Future Teachers
    (pp. 99-111)

    InCitizen, her biography of Jane Addams, Louise W. Knight relates the story in which Addams has a moment of epiphany after attending the bullfights in Spain and realizing that she was somehow immune to the suffering of animals because her love and pursuit of “culture” had somehow “cut her off from feeling compassion from suffering” (163). It was at this moment that Addams realized she had “fallen into the meanest type of self-deception” (Twenty Years at Hull-House56), that she had stepped into the trap of preparing to do important work rather than actually doing important work. It was...

  11. 7 A Timeless Problem: Competing Goals
    (pp. 112-126)

    These words, taken from the charter to Hull-House, the Chicago settlement that Jane Addams cofounded in the late nineteenth century, reveal the objectives that she and Ellen Gates Starr had set for their social enterprise. Though complementary in many ways, these goals are also quite diverse. Addams sought to improve several aspects of her new neighbors’ lives: the physical, the intellectual, and the social. Such a lofty ambition is quite admirable and, as Addams would quickly discover, quite challenging.

    A fundamental problem that Addams encountered in her attempts to address these different aspects of life is that they often represented...

  12. 8 Surveying the Territory: The Family and Social Claims
    (pp. 127-145)

    In Jane Addams’sThe Spirit of Youth and the City Streets, the advocate for democracy and pragmatism suggests that, because of their energy and enthusiasm, young people are invaluable in the promotion of social justice. Although not technically an educator herself, Addams displays great respect for teachers and asserts that schools play a crucial role in allowing young people to positively shape their communities. “All that would be necessary,” she writes, “would be to attach this teaching to the contemporary world in such wise that the eager youth might feel a tug upon his faculties, and a sense of participation...

  13. 9 Story and the Possibilities of Imagination: Addams’s Legacy and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award
    (pp. 146-161)

    Jane Addams respected imagination as a wellspring for creativity and compassion. She saw creativity and compassion as essential, active agents for democratic living in a world community. Her contemplation of the influence of imagination on private life and the social world begins early in her work and is a strong theme in much of her writing in succeeding years. So much so that, according to her biographer Katherine Joslin, “It is fair to say that Addams, over the twenty years between 1910 and 1930, came to see art and the possibilities of the imagination as hopefully as she had seen...

  14. 10 Participating in History: The Museum as a Site for Radical Empathy, Hull-House
    (pp. 162-178)

    At the turn of the twentieth century, museums around the country awoke and responded to the conditions and spirit of the Progressive era. Shedding the Gilded Age tendency toward spiritual uplift removed from the experiences of daily life, cultural institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago began to reach out to audiences including immigrants and the working class. These museums sought to shape the cultural and civic life of these populations, with the varied goals of promoting citizenship, democratizing education, addressing rapid industrialization, and expanding the public sphere (Trask). By developing educational programming for...

  15. 11 Manifestations of Altruism: Sympathetic Understanding, Narrative, and Democracy
    (pp. 179-194)

    Jane Addams was, among many other things, a gifted storyteller, as some have pointed out (Elshtain 2002; Joslin 2004; Deegan 1988), including several of us in the present collection of essays, though some of us here speak of her work in this area in somewhat different terms. Petra Munro Hendry (in this volume), for example, speaks of the importance of memory and history in considering neglected aspects of Addams’s work, and Bridget O’Rourke and Todd DeStigter (in this volume) speak of experience as central to understanding Addams’s contributions to our thinking. My related point is that story is the principal...

  16. Afterword. The Fire Within: Evocations toward a Committed Life
    (pp. 195-212)

    The globe is less a pastiche of continents than a network of experiences and destinations she treats as if all these placescould bea huge Hull-House, tangles of arteries carrying her social and ethical questioning from one house, one part of town, one community, down narrow streets and alleyways into cities and countrysides and moving across continents as far as Tolstoy’s Russia. Hull-House itself is a small point within a neighborhood constellation of ten thousand Italians (Sicilians, Calabrians, Lombardians, Venetians, Neapolitans) between Halsted Street and the river. Nearly the same number of Germans have settled to the south, and...

  17. Contributors
    (pp. 213-216)
  18. Index
    (pp. 217-221)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 222-222)