By Samantha NeCamp

The unencumber of U.S. census information in 1910 sparked rhetoric stating the state had a literacy difficulty and proclaiming illiterate electorate a risk to democratic existence. whereas newspaper editors, industrialists, and officers within the federal govt usually positioned the blame on newly arrived immigrants, a smaller yet no much less vocal staff of rural educators and clubwomen highlighted the numerous variety of native-born illiterate adults within the Appalachian quarter. writer Samantha NeCamp appears on the academic reaction to those certain literacy narratives—the founding of the Moonlight faculties in japanese Kentucky, enthusiastic about native-born nonliterate adults, and the institution of the Americanization circulation, 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 move competed for public consciousness, the curiosity of educators, and personal and governmental investment, fueling a colourful public debate concerning 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. studying the Moonlight colleges and the Americanization move on the subject of each other, Adult Literacy and American Identity expands the historical past and thought of literacy and literacy schooling within the usa. This e-book can be of curiosity to students in literacy, Appalachian reviews, and rhetoric and composition.

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Moreover, as John Hennen and John Higham have separately argued, the “defensive posture” taken by the United States as a whole in the immediate postwar years further heightened the perception of immigrants—especially those who were imagined as unable to participate in US social and political institutions—as threats to society (Hennen 119). Between 1917 and 1925, Americanization programs appear to have thrived. The NEA’s Addresses and Proceedings again indicate prevailing trends: throughout the period, each year brings an increasing number of talks addressing Americanization efforts and, in 1921, the formation of a Department of Immigrant Education.

Throughout her time with the NACI, former Americanizers constantly thwarted Stewart in her attempts to promote Moonlight Schools’ work. The vision of adult education the NACI promulgated was one of extensive, professionally taught courses, a substantially different vision than the philosophy espoused by the Moonlight Schools. Though the NACI did manage to publish an instruction manual for teachers of adults—a manual that entirely reflected a professionalized view Literacy, Crisis, and Educational Responses 29 of adult education rather than Stewart’s volunteer-oriented approach—the government’s refusal to provide funding guaranteed that whatever the vision of the NACI, little could be accomplished toward its goals.

The organization was all but defunct by 1932 and was officially closed in January 1933. As the NACI declined, so, too, did the Moonlight Schools movement it was intended to represent. Though Stewart continued to publicize the schools for an additional year, new government programs that offered literacy education undercut her message. In 1935, Stewart retired from her work with education to pursue a religious calling, and with her retirement, the Moonlight Schools movement faded away. Americanization: A Brief History As Bernard J.

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