Finished up The Protestant Crusade, about which I’ll need to do one more post about how schooling plays into it. At the moment, I’m working on The Educational Ideas of Pestalozzi by J. A. Green, published in 1906. The formatting/readability of the available online versions I’ve been able to scrounge up is so poor I did a copy/paste from a (254 pp! Although it will probably be more like 150 pp when I’m done.) PDF, dumped it into a Google doc, resized the text, and am cleaning it up as I read. Lots of bad character reader artifacts, weird imbedded formatting that doesn’t want to be overridden, unpleasant line breaks – yet, fixing it is still probably more efficient than trying to plow through the messes I could find online. When I’m done, I should find a way to make it available, for the next schmuck who would want to read it. (in the words of Shrek: yea, like that’s gonna happen.)
Next up: I have a series of dead tree editions of biographies and works by and about the great Catholic educators: Don Bosco, Elizabeth Anne Seton, Jean Baptiste de la Salle. I need some on Drexel and Montessori. And, as is always the case, I’ll undoubtedly come across others as I read. A blessing and a curse.
The book will have a chapter or two on the educational beliefs, goals, and practices of the great Catholic teachers, including those mentioned above. I have collected quotations from other, earlier teachers as well. Then there’s the writings of the Catholics contemporary with the rise of the public and parochial schools here, chief among whom are Hecker and Brownson. Got a bunch of materials online for this, only skimmed so far. References are made by these writers to statements by the Pope and bishops – need to dig those up, too.
Unfortunately, I’m only a medium reader, not one of those who can rip through 100 pp/hour. I’m more a 30-35 pp/hr guy, much slower when taking notes as I am now. So – yea, big task. But surprisingly fun! I’ve slowly come to realize I enjoy reading history, science, philosophy and biography more, in general, than I enjoy reading fiction. Yes, I’m odd.
For the more popular book, my goal is to show how the great Catholic tradition in education is not linked to the graded classroom model except accidentally. For the planned more scholarly work, I want to trace the evolution of acceptance of the graded classroom model under the influence of the Catholic immigrant/outsider desire to fit in. Being as good as the public schools is a recurring theme, when being vastly better, and better by Catholic standards, should be the goal.