What and how will we teach : for what shall we teach and why? Aims-talk in the Journal of negro education 1932-1953
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This is a study of educational aims discourses (aims-talk) in the Journal of Negro Education between 1932 and 1953. In this era of segregation, economic depression, and war, educators and other champions of education for African Americans struggled to define and then develop objectives, goals, and curricula for African American students in secondary schools and colleges. This study considers the different aims discourses, how they evolved, and how they were affected by economic depression and war. Using literary analysis, this historical analysis considers the influence of philanthropy, The Cardinal Principles, segregation, the American social order, democracy, and the “peculiar” needs of African Americans as themes within the disparate discourse. This study uses the taxonomy of critical race theory to inform the discourse and supplement the theory of whiteness as property with the related theory that education is also property. The study’s analysis is informed by Nel Noddings’ theoretical position that aims can be used as a critique of society. Finally, this study adds empirical evidence to support Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.’s theory of nation language. The conditions of segregation significantly influenced the discourse of the 100 authors and the 137 articles considered by the study. The conditions of segregation did not change during the period of this study but the economy improved and war provided more job opportunities for African Americans. While there was a heightened call for the elimination of segregation and resetting of the social order during World War II in the Journal of Negro Education, the educational condition of the African American as reported by these researchers did not significantly evolve over the same period. However, a new discourse developed in which both philanthropists and African-American educators recognized the need for some combination of industrial and academic education for their students. The period examined in this study begins with the publication of the first issue of the Journal of Negro Education in 1932 and ends on the eve of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision in 1953.