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Revisiting the Visiting Teacher: Relearning the Lessons of the Whole-Child Approach

Revisiting the Visiting Teacher: Relearning the Lessons of the Whole-Child Approach Drawing on primary documents, we examine the visiting teacher movement (VTM; ca. 1906–40), focusing on three questions: (1) What lessons from the VTM challenge the social and political aims of education in our historical moment? (2) What are lessons for redefining school social work practice today? and (3) What lessons can today’s school social workers use to organize for more expansive views of their practice? We argue the VTM challenged educational bureaucracy by creating blended roles across professions and bridging boundaries between home and school. Although visiting teachers’ work stood in contrast to the factory model of schooling, they had the ear of high-ranking educators across the country. Their vision for the work that was needed, well-organized channels of communication, and networks of support positioned them as a counterweight to contemporaneous views. Their example is a model for reimagining social work, the school space, and the state apparatus. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Service Review University of Chicago Press

Revisiting the Visiting Teacher: Relearning the Lessons of the Whole-Child Approach

Social Service Review , Volume 93 (4): 29 – Dec 1, 2019

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Publisher
University of Chicago Press
Copyright
© 2019 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0037-7961
eISSN
1537-5404
DOI
10.1086/706788
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Drawing on primary documents, we examine the visiting teacher movement (VTM; ca. 1906–40), focusing on three questions: (1) What lessons from the VTM challenge the social and political aims of education in our historical moment? (2) What are lessons for redefining school social work practice today? and (3) What lessons can today’s school social workers use to organize for more expansive views of their practice? We argue the VTM challenged educational bureaucracy by creating blended roles across professions and bridging boundaries between home and school. Although visiting teachers’ work stood in contrast to the factory model of schooling, they had the ear of high-ranking educators across the country. Their vision for the work that was needed, well-organized channels of communication, and networks of support positioned them as a counterweight to contemporaneous views. Their example is a model for reimagining social work, the school space, and the state apparatus.

Journal

Social Service ReviewUniversity of Chicago Press

Published: Dec 1, 2019

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