Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Jesse Stuart On Education

Jesse Stuart On Education

J.R. LeMaster Editor
Copyright Date: 1992
Pages: 176
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Jesse Stuart On Education
    Book Description:

    Could a man who never earned a master's degree tell the nation's teachers and administrators how to run their schools? Jesse Stuart, who had a life-long love of education, did just that.

    From Stuart's autobiographical works, J.R. LeMaster has chosen selections that demonstrate his philosophy of learning and teaching, and his philosophy of life. The selections establish a loose chronology of events in Stuart's lifelong education and describe his experience as preschooler, student, teacher, and school administrator.

    This multiple perspective, LeMaster suggests, is essential to understanding the process we call education -- a process Jesse Stuart located in nature, believing that human beings are first and foremost natural beings and only incidentally cultural beings. That is, while we belong to an order of human beings, we also belong to a larger order -- a universe of living things.

    In his general introduction LeMaster discusses Stuart's life and philosophy, providing the reader with a backdrop against which to study selections fromBeyond Dark Hills,The Thread That Runs So True,The Year of My Rebirth,God's Oddling,Mr. Gallion's School,To Teach, To Love, and other Stuart works. Each excerpt is illumined by LeMaster's discussion of its place in Stuart's philosophy of education.

    Those concerned with the apparent breakdown of the American educational system will find much to consider in LeMaster's discussion of the implications of Stuart's views on education. He contends that the present crisis in our schools stems from an inadequate philosophy for living and that Jesse Stuart, who believed education was a natural development, knew as much all along.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6176-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-11)

    EXCEPT FOR reviews, little has been written about Jesse Stuart’s autobiographical books. Although the reasons for such neglect are likely numerous, two or three appear to be obvious. For example, Stuart wrote the first of these,Beyond Dark Hills,when he was a student at Vanderbilt University in 1932. He was born in 1906, and a rather exhaustive autobiography at the age of twenty-six seems out of keeping with the experiences and the seriousness expected of mature work in the genre. Nevertheless,Beyond Dark Hillscontains both depth of experience and high seriousness, and it charms the reader in ways...

  5. Early Education
    (pp. 12-30)

    WHENGod’s Oddlingwas published in 1960, reviews were both plentiful and favorable. Donald L. Ball described it as an engaging and moving story with charm and sincerity (Richmond Times-Dispatch,20 November 1960), and Van Allen Bradley saw it as a memorable portrait written in human terms (Chicago Daily News,24 December 1960). Fanny Butcher saw inGod’s Oddlinga true poet of the soil (Chicago Tribune,20 November 1960), and Roland Carter was pleased with Stuart’s message of genuine family love (Chattanooga Daily Times,4 December 1960). John Goodspeed described the book as occasionally repetitious but one of Stuart’s...

  6. Beyond Dark Hills
    (pp. 31-52)

    WHEN SCROLL PRESS of Howe, Oklahoma, published Stuart’s small collection of poems titledHarvest of Youthin 1930, the young writer immediately suppressed it because the fact that Scroll was a vanity press embarrassed him. On the other hand, whenMan with a Bull-Tongue Plowwas published in 1934, Stuart launched himself as a poet worthy of the attention of such literary figures as Malcolm Cowley. Before the publication ofMan with a Bull-Tongue Plow,however, came the writing ofBeyond Dark Hills,the first of six autobiographical books treating education as a major theme. Stuart describes the writing of...

  7. The Thread That Runs So True
    (pp. 53-89)

    IN HIS BOOKJesse Stuart(New York: Twayne, 1968), Ruel Foster writes, “For years—since 1937, in fact—a book had been tumbling over and over in Stuart’s head. More than anything else he wanted to write a book about teaching—a book that would be a song, a poem, a manifesto, a hymn to the profession of teaching” (26). In 1940 Stuart set out to write an article on teaching forProgressive Farmer.Realizing he had too much to say for an article, he tried writing a fictitious account that might help the South reduce the rate at which...

  8. To Teach, To Love
    (pp. 90-119)

    TO TEACH, TO LOVEwas criticized for being disjointed when it appeared in 1970. LikeGod’s Oddling,it lacked originality in the sense that it was a bringing together of materials previously published, but those who criticized often overlooked the writer’s intent. LikeMr. Gallion’s School, To Teach, To Lovebelongs to the decade of the sixties, a turbulent decade in which America was undergoing a cultural revolution that would affect our nation’s schools profoundly. That it came at the end of the sixties was no accident. (Stuart received the first advance copy in November of 1969.) As early as...

  9. Remembering Teachers
    (pp. 120-142)

    IN AUGUST of 1952 Jesse Stuart joined the Methodist Church, and was attending Sunday school fairly regularly by the time of his massive heart attack on 8 October 1954. Throughout 1953, he continued to improve his land, write, and travel the lecture circuit at breakneck speed. Honors, including honorary degrees, continued to come his way, but he was living by the clock. In early February of 1954, he began to complain about his health. After suffering severe chest pains, he checked into King’s Daughters Hospital for a complete examination only to be told that his problem was muscular. The chest...

  10. The School Bell Rings Again
    (pp. 143-157)

    AFTER HIS heart attack at Murray, Kentucky, on 8 October 1954, Stuart had recuperated enough to return to McKell High School as principal in the fall of 1956. The story of that principalship was published asMr. Gallion’s Schoolin 1967. It might be better to say that the book was based upon that principalship, for the reviewers seemed not to know what to say about the work. Some praised it highly, but others contended that it fell far short of such earlier works asThe Thread That Runs So True.

    It is true that in the 1960s Stuart’s life...

  11. Afterword
    (pp. 158-164)

    BECAUSE OF changes in the world around them, our nation’s schools have taken on more and more responsibility, in many cases replacing home, church, and other social agencies in shaping our children during their formative years. The lives of countless young Americans bear witness to the fact that the family has declined as the basic social unit and provider of role models. For many families, the church is no longer a spiritual leader and provider of models of hope for the present or the future. Out of necessity, therefore, our schools have assumed functions for which they are ill equipped....