Science in the Service of Children, 1893-1935 by Alice Smuts

By Alice Smuts

This publication is the 1st entire historical past of the improvement of kid examine throughout the early a part of the 20th century. such a lot nineteenth-century scientists deemed little ones incorrect matters for learn, and fogeys have been adverse to the belief. yet by means of 1935, the learn of the kid used to be a thriving clinical box. right here, Alice Boardman Smuts indicates how interrelated movements—social and scientific—combined to remodel the research of the child.

Drawing on national documents and large interviews with baby research pioneers, Smuts recounts the function of social reformers, philanthropists, and revolutionary scientists who tested new associations with new methods of learning teenagers. half historical past of technological know-how and half social historical past, this e-book describes a desirable period whilst the conventional baby was once studied for the 1st time, a baby suggestions stream emerged, and the newly created federal Children’s Bureau carried out pathbreaking sociological reports of children.

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A member of the Utica, New York, maternal association sponsored the Mother’s Magazine, a nonsectarian journal that was intended to reach beyond its Congregational and Presbyterian base. Founded in , it had a circulation of ten thousand by . Two more periodicals for mothers were established by  and quickly rivaled the Utica magazine in circulation. In spite of their emphasis on early religious training and moral reform, the magazines contained, one historian notes, “surprisingly eclectic and inclusive material,” including essays by Locke and Rousseau, articles on child health and the importance of maternal education, and even one on the early-childhood-education pioneer Pestalozzi before he had become well known to American educators.

Mothers were asked to assume responsibility not only for their own children but also for all children in need. 6 Before  most child-rearing advice literature in the United States was imported from England. ”8 The exaltation of motherhood was linked to a belief in woman’s special nature, untainted by the marketplace, which made her morally and spiritually superior to man. The doctrine of “separate spheres” emerged from these beliefs about the essential differences between males and females and the need to protect the home from the corruption of the world.

They pointed, Save the Child and Save the Nation first, to the magnitude of changes in post–Civil War American society that prevented the insulation of middle- and upper-class children from the problems of the rest of society. 32 Jane Addams told a receptive female audience that a mother’s devotion to her family was no longer enough to protect her own children. 34 At the first meeting of the National Congress of Mothers, Alice Birney, the founding president, called upon women to be good citizens as well as good mothers.

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