Before Head Start: The Iowa Station and America's Children.
by Barbara Beatty — 1994
As historians of education approach the present, the historical record becomes denser and more difficult to write about. Hamilton Cravens has solved this problem by using the history of one influential institution, the Iowa Child Welfare Research Station, as a means of capturing the complexity of events, ideas, and actors concerned with young children in the first half of the twentieth century. Because of the importance of the Iowa Station and its far-reaching impact on other institutions and lines of educational and policy research, this strategy works well. Before Head Start is both an institutional history and a study of the evolution and applications of developmental psychology. Cravens begins by describing the origins of the Iowa Station in the maternalist advocacy of Cora Bussey Hillis, a wealthy Iowa woman who, after the death of two of her own children, envisioned a state-sponsored research institute that would provide useful information about child rearing much as state agricultural stations provided useful information about crops and cows. Cravens analyzes the... (preview truncated at 150 words.)
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