By Samantha NeCamp
The unencumber of U.S. census facts in 1910 sparked rhetoric pointing out the state had a literacy difficulty and proclaiming illiterate voters a risk to democratic lifestyles. whereas newspaper editors, industrialists, and officers within the federal executive often put the blame on newly arrived immigrants, a smaller yet no much less vocal workforce of rural educators and clubwomen highlighted the numerous variety of native-born illiterate adults within the Appalachian zone. writer Samantha NeCamp seems on the academic reaction to those specific literacy narratives—the founding of the Moonlight faculties in jap Kentucky, excited by native-born nonliterate adults, and the institution of the Americanization stream, devoted to the schooling of contemporary immigrants.
Drawing on own correspondence, convention court cases, textbooks, and speeches, NeCamp demonstrates how the Moonlight colleges and the Americanization flow competed for public consciousness, the curiosity of educators, and personal and governmental investment, fueling a colourful public debate in regards to the definition of literacy. The very assorted pedagogical practices of the 2 movements—and how those practices have been represented to the public—helped form literacy schooling within the usa. analyzing the Moonlight colleges and the Americanization circulate relating to each other, Adult Literacy and American Identity expands the historical past and thought of literacy and literacy schooling within the usa. This publication might be of curiosity to students in literacy, Appalachian experiences, and rhetoric and composition.
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Extra resources for Adult Literacy and American Identity: The Moonlight Schools and Americanization Programs
However, the wage was not without conditions. . ” (qtd. in Nevins 553). Company investigators visited homes to determine workers’ marital status, economic position, and lifestyle (553–54); men (and later women) were required to “prove that they were ‘sober, saving, steady, industrious’” (552) to qualify for the maximum salary. Non-English-speaking workers were also required to enroll in the company’s English school or face dismissal (552–54). Though certainly a charitable element was in company’s efforts to educate and oversee workers, the requirements for higher pay also effectively ensured a quality workforce: if all workers spoke English, the company could streamline operations, while “sober” and “industrious” workers were likely to work hard and show up on time.
Moonlight Schools” 14) Stewart suggested that neglecting education for adults was impractical and, worse, unchristian. She asserted that “the public school should be as liberal in its policy as is the Church. ’” (14). Furthermore, educating illiterates simply made economic and social sense: men and women who had half their working lives ahead of them would be better workers—less apt to waste time or to damage machinery because they could not read operating instructions—if they could read and write.
At the local level, city governments appropriated funds and directly organized courses for immigrant residents. Cleveland, for instance, not only commissioned Americanization programs but also organized a survey to analyze the “problem” of immigrants and the success or failure of particular methods of Americanization (see Miller). The Bureau of Naturalization records that by 1922, 3,016 communities requested information related to designing Americanization programs (McClymer, “Americanization”).
Adult Literacy and American Identity: The Moonlight Schools and Americanization Programs by Samantha NeCamp