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Palgrave Macmillan

Bilingual Public Schooling in the United States

A History of America's "Polyglot Boardinghouse"

ISBN 9781137393289
Publication Date March 2014
Formats Paperback Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

This history of one of the most contentious educational issues in America examines bilingual instruction in the United States from the common school era to the recent federal involvement in the 1960s and 1970s. Drawing from school reports, student narratives, legal resources, policy documents, and other primary sources, the work teases out the underlying agendas and patterns in bilingual schooling during much of America's history. The study demonstrates clearly how the broader context - cultural, intellectual, religious, demographic, economic, and political forces - shaped the contours of dual-language instruction in America between the 1840s and 1960s. Ramsey's work fills a crucial void in the educational literature and addresses not only historians, linguists, and bilingual scholars, but also policymakers and practitioners in the field.

Paul Ramsey is Associate Professor of Social Foundations of Education at Eastern Michigan University, USA.

1. Laying the Foundation for the Boardinghouse: The Context of Nineteenth-Century Schooling and Bilingualism
2. Building the Polyglot Boardinghouse in the Northeast and the South
3. Inside the Boardinghouse's Parlor
4. The Polyglot Boarders Move West
5. Nativism among the Homeowners: The Metaphysics of Foreigner-Hating
6. Progressivism, Science, and the Remodeling of the Boardinghouse
7. "If You Can't Fight over There, Fight over Here": World War I and the Partial Destruction of the Boardinghouse
8. Rebuilding the Boardinghouse: The Interwar Years


"Paul J. Ramsey has written a comprehensive and definitive history of bilingual education in America. Based on exhaustive research, the book is at once a sophisticated piece of scholarship and an accessible introduction to a subject that every student of American education should read." - B. Edward McClellan, Professor Emeritus, Indiana University, USA
"Ramsey gives us a pioneering, uncommonly literate study of bilingual instruction in the United States.The diverse contexts and wide array of participants' voices he assembles invite scholars, policymakers, and anyone drawn to the topic to probe deeply its multi-layered and contentious history. We have needed this important book for years." - Donald Warren, Professor of Education, Indiana University, USA
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