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Learning to Read and Write in Colonial America (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book)

Learning to Read and Write in Colonial America (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An experienced teacher of reading and writing and an award-winning historian, E. Jennifer Monaghan brings to vibrant life the process of learning to read and write in colonial America. Ranging throughout the colonies from New Hampshire to Georgia, she examines the instruction of girls and boys, Native Americans and enslaved Africans, the privileged and the poor, revealing the sometimes wrenching impact of literacy acquisition on the lives of learners. For the most part, religious motives underlay reading instruction in colonial America, while secular motives led to writing instruction. Monghan illuminates the history of these activities through a series of deply researched and readable case studies. An Anglican missionary battles mosquitoes and loneliness to teach the New York Mohawks to write in their own tongue. Puritan fathers model scriptural reading for their children as they struggle with bereavement. Boys in writing schools, preparing for careers in counting houses, wield their quill pens in the difficult task of mastering a "good hand." Benjamin Franklin learns how to compose essays with no teacher but himself. Young orphans in Georgia write precocious letters to their benefactor, George Whitfield, while schools in South Carolina teach enslaved black children to read but never to write. As she tells these stories, Monaghan clears new pathways in the analysis of colonial literacy. She pioneers in the exploration of the implications of the separation of reading and writing instruction, a topic that still resonates in today's classrooms. Her close examination of reading methodology yields fresh insights into the colonial mind. Her discussion of instructional texts, particularlyspelling books, adds an important and previously neglected element to the study of colonial literacy. Monaghan's wide-ranging study confirms a break with tradition that began in some circles around the 1750s. Thereafter, a gentler vision of childhood arose, portraying children

Book News Annotation:

Who learned to read in Colonial America? Who learned to write? Monaghan (English emerita, the City U. of New York) explains the distinctions (reading instruction was largely motivated by religion, while writing instruction generally had secular motives) and their applications (slaves and other marginalized people were allowed to learn to read but not to write) and the new attitudes of the mid- eighteenth century that allowed children to read for enjoyment, not only for purposes of conversion. She explains literacy in New England from 1620 to 1730, particularly in the case of the Indians of the Massachusetts Bay and the Mohawks. She examines the brief period following 1730 that contained startling changes in how children were taught and what they read, and concludes with commentary about the literary instruction of the enslaved the period just before the Revolution. Monaghan's case studies are particularly effective.
Annotation 2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

Who learned to read in Colonial America? Who learned to write? Monaghan (English emerita, the City U. of New York) explains the distinctions (reading instruction was largely motivated by religion, while writing instruction generally had secular motives) and their applications (slaves and other marginalized people were allowed to learn to read but not to write) and the new attitudes of the mid- eighteenth century that allowed children to read for enjoyment, not only for purposes of conversion. She explains literacy in New England from 1620 to 1730, particularly in the case of the Indians of the Massachusetts Bay and the Mohawks. She examines the brief period following 1730 that contained startling changes in how children were taught and what they read, and concludes with commentary about the literary instruction of the enslaved the period just before the Revolution. Monaghan's case studies are particularly effective. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781558494862
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Subject:
History
Author:
Monaghan, E. Jennifer
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Literacy
Subject:
United States - Colonial Period
Subject:
Books and reading -- United States -- History.
Subject:
US History-Colonial America
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book
Publication Date:
20050731
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
504
Dimensions:
9.48x6.40x1.37 in. 1.88 lbs.

Related Subjects

Education » General
History and Social Science » Linguistics » Specific Languages and Groups
History and Social Science » US History » Colonial America
History and Social Science » World History » General
Reference » Words Phrases and Language

Learning to Read and Write in Colonial America (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book)
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Product details 504 pages University of Massachusetts Press - English 9781558494862 Reviews:
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