What can composition historians learn from early twentieth century high school composition programs? What might the methods, classroom projects, and approaches to student texts suggest about how students were prepared to write in high school? Might our innovative practices in college composition have *trickled up* from high schools during the first few decades of the last century?
In his history of rhetorical education at post-secondary schools in Texas, David Gold calls for historical studies of a variety of institutions that will “complicate and challenge the master narratives of rhetoric and composition history and the ideological assumptions that underlie them” (x). This panel answers Gold’s challenge by historicizing early twentieth-century, high school composition classrooms.
We welcome a variety of possible approaches on this theme:
- Discussions of high school composition across the disciplines;
- Examinations of individual secondary educators;
- Histories of individual classroom or department initiatives;
- Statements of best practices from regional teachers associations; and
- Early scholarship from secondary educators, such as classroom research, writing in pedagogical journals, or textbooks.