Year of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Department or School/College
Dr. Michael Mayer
Dr. Jeff Wiltse
Dr. Michael Mayer, Dr. Jeff Wiltse, Dr. Adrea Lawrence
liberal education, neo-orthodoxy, new conservatism, conformity, secularism, authoritarianism
University of Montana
Catholic Studies | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Educational Psychology | Education Law | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration | First Amendment | Gifted Education | Higher Education Administration | History of Religions of Western Origin | Intellectual History | Religious Education | Sociology
This thesis discerns the relationships between three interrelated movements of the post-war period (circa 1945-1959): the overwhelming concern among leading intellectuals regarding the relationship between the individual and society, the post-war debates over education, and rising religious observance. Following WWII, the nation’s leading scholars and social critics addressed the most important problem facing the country and, for that matter, the world: how to avoid totalitarianism. Almost naturally, such anxieties influenced new debates over education. Broadly speaking, these controversies involved two related disputes over the efficacy of progressive education and the proper relationship between church and state. After World War II, many Americans believed progressive education unsuitable to their religious sensibilities and insufficient for the needs of "gifted" students. Having defeated one godless adversary in WWII and facing yet another during the Cold War, Americans reevaluated the quality of their education system and the desirability of religious instruction in education. Though most agreed that America's education system needed improvement and that religion had a place in education, they disagreed over how to realize these goals. Such differences manifested along religious lines between the three major American faith-groups: Protestant, Catholic, and Jew.
Yturri, Ben, "Battles of the Mind: The Reaction Against Progressive Education, 1945-1959" (2022). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 11948.
Catholic Studies Commons, Comparative Methodologies and Theories Commons, Educational Psychology Commons, Education Law Commons, Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration Commons, First Amendment Commons, Gifted Education Commons, Higher Education Administration Commons, History of Religions of Western Origin Commons, Intellectual History Commons, Religious Education Commons, Sociology Commons
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