Lawrence Cremin

"Family-Community linkages in American education: Some comments on the recent historiography."

in Families and communities as educators, p. 567-658. Edited by H. Leichter. New York: Teachers College Press1978.



I have conceived of education in this essay as the deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort to transmit, evoke, or acquire knowledge, attitudes, values, skills, or sensibilities, and any learning that results from the effort, direct or indirect, intended or unintended. This definition obviously projects inquiry beyond the schools and colleges to a host of individuals and institutions that educate - parents, peers, siblings, and friends, as well as families, churches, synagogues, libraries, museums, settlement houses, and factories. And it clearly focuses attention on the relationships among the several educative institutions and on the effects of one institution's efforts on those of another. What is needed most for a sound historical understanding of these relationships -- or linkages, as I have called them here -- is a variety of investigations that study them in their own right, with explicit educational questions uppermost in mind... Meanwhile, until such studies become plentiful, the kind of secondary analysis of extant monographs that has constituted the burden of my commentary here can surely produce at least two sorts of fruitful insights: first, into the shifting relationships among educative institutions at different times in American history and, second, into the character and operation of the relationships themselves. (p. 567)

Check also the 1976 version of the definition. The best presentation of this approach may in fact be in Cremin's Dewey lecture (1975) where he does not proceed from a "definition." I have compiled a comparison of four of Cremin's summaries of his "definitions."

Tuesday, October 24, 2000