A Shared History: Writing in the High School, College, and University, 1856-1886
In the nineteenth century, advanced educational opportunities were not clearly demarcated and defined. Author Amy J. Lueck demonstrates that public high schools, in addition to colleges and universities, were vital settings for advanced rhetoric and writing instruction. Lueck shows how the history of high schools in Louisville, Kentucky, connects with, contradicts, and complicates the accepted history of writing instruction and underscores the significance of high schools to rhetoric and composition history and the reform efforts in higher education today.
Lueck explores Civil War- and Reconstruction-era challenges to the University of Louisville and nearby local high schools, their curricular transformations, and their fate in regard to national education reform efforts. These institutions reflect many of the educational trends and developments of the day: college and university building, the emergence of English education as the dominant curriculum for higher learning, student-centered pedagogies and educational theories, the development and transformation of normal schools, the introduction of manual education and its mutation into vocational education, and the extension of advanced education to women, African American, and working-class students.
Lueck demonstrates a complex genealogy of interconnections among high schools, colleges, and universities that demands we rethink our categories and standards of assessment and our field’s history. A shift in our historical narrative would promote a move away from an emphasis on the preparation, transition, and movement of student writers from high school to college or university and instead allow a greater focus on the fostering of rich rhetorical practices and pedagogies at all educational levels. As the definition of college-level writing becomes increasingly contested once again, Lueck invites a reassessment of the discipline’s understanding of contemporary programs based in high schools like dual-credit and concurrent enrollment.
Southern Illinois University Press
Lueck, Amy J., "A Shared History: Writing in the High School, College, and University, 1856-1886" (2020). Faculty Book Gallery. 451.