History of American Schoolbooks

History of American Schoolbooks

by Charles Carpenter


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The lineage of American schoolbooks, like that of our educational system, goes back to Europe and, particularly, to England. The first schoolbooks used in the United States were printed in England and for two hundred years a great influx of books came from sources outside this country. However, with the break from England and the emergence of the United States as a nation, text book publishing came into being in America.

This book presents a general portrayal of American textbooks, and along with this, as a requisite accompaniment, a picture of the pioneer-day school system insofar as it had to do with production and early usage of schoolbooks. The author shows how the first textbooks came to be, tells of textbook writers, and traces through the bulk of the material presented the changes that most of the textbook authors brought about. The types of books discussed include the New England primers as well as other types of primers; readers, specially the McGuffey readers; rhetoric and foreign language books; arithmetics; spelling books; literature texts; elocution texts; handwriting and copy books; histories; and many other books that made our school systems what they are today.

Besides being a study of the textbook field in America, History of American Schoolbooks is also a history of the United States as reflected in the type of teaching and instructional aids used to educate Americans. A study of this subject is by no means just an interesting side trip into America's past. Many of the books are still influential, and many of the old methods are staging a come­back in the educational field,

History of American Schoolbooks should be of interest to educators and historians, as well as teachers, librarians, book collectors, publishers, and general readers who are interested in the evolution and growth of a segment of education and educational publishing that is one of the most important and vital in our country.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781512801170
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
Publication date: 01/29/1963
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Charles Carpenter wrote for such widely diverse publications as the Southern Agriculturist, Railway Age, and the American Mercury. He contributed features to many of the country's newspapers.

Table of Contents


1. The Early American Schools
2. The New England Primer
3. Nineteenth-Century Primers
4. Special Primers
5. Beginning of Readers
6. Following the Initial Readers
7. The McGuffey and Contemporary Readers
8. Grammars
9. Rhetorics and Foreign Language Books
10. Arithmetics
11. Spelling Books
12. Literature Texts
13. Elocution Manuals
14. Handwriting and Copybooks
15. School Histories
16. General Science Texts
17. Physiologies and Mental Science Texts
18. Geographies
19. Progress of Schoolbook Publishing


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