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Ebook Information

Jane Addams in the Classroom

Essays bringing Jane Addams's innovative ideas on education to the teachers of today and tomorrow

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 include 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.


"There is much wisdom in these essays, and although most are drawn from experiences in secondary and college-level English classrooms, the essays will likely resonate with teachers of other disciplines and at other instructional levels as well. Highly Recommended."--Choice

"This collection of essays edited by David Schaafsma demonstrates how Jane Addams, via her life story, thought, and writings, remains relevant and inspirational in today's world not only for historians, feminists, peace activists, and social workers, but, specifically, for English educators as well."--Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

"These well-crafted essays continue the conversation about Jane Addams as a distinctive voice in American letters, one that appeals to scholars across academic disciplines. David Schaafsma's collection speaks to a wide variety of readers, particularly those who are themselves teachers."--Katherine Joslin, author of Jane Addams: A Writer's Life

"Jane Addams in the Classroom makes major contributions to scholarship on Jane Addams--but also, more broadly, to educational leadership models and teachers’ own individual avenues to social activism. By connecting with Addams as a theorizing story-teller, as well as with scholarship on Dewey, Freire, and other advocates for progressive pedagogy, this collection provides a useful lens for educators seeking to examine their own teaching practices critically. Given the pivotal role that Addams played in community-based education promoting sustained civic engagement, this book is long overdue."--Sarah R. Robbins, author of Managing Literacy, Mothering America


David Schaafsma is director and associate professor of English education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of Eating on the Street: Teaching Literacy in a Multicultural Society.

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