The Child and the Curriculum

Part of the Historical Studies in Education book series (HSE)


In the 1920s, as Corinne Seeds and Helen Heffernan began their rise to prominence, California was a prosperous and rapidly growing state with a tradition of progressive politics and strong support for public education. The state shared the racist attitudes and institutions of the nation as a whole, but the racial categories in California were not simply a black and white binary. Instead, they encompassed a complex mix of those deemed white, Mexican, African American, and Asian. In the mid-1920s, Californians, like other Americans, were caught up in the consumerism and cultural changes of the decade. Although farmers in California as elsewhere were beginning to experience the economic crisis that presaged the Great Depression, the urban centers of San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles continued to grow and prosper. The first talking moving picture was produced in 1926, and the movie industry, already flourishing, became an even stronger and more defining presence in Los Angles. And while the progressive era seemed to have ended in national politics, in California the situation was more complex. Progressives had taken control of the state in 1910 with the election of Governor Hiram Johnson, and even in the 1920s their influence continued to be strong.1 Clement Young, the Republican governor elected in 1926, was closely connected to Johnson and the California progressives and was a strong supporter of education.


Teacher College Rural School Migrant Child Progressive Education Training School 
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  1. 2.
    William Reese, “The Origins of Progressive Education,” History of Education Quarterly 41, no. 1 (Spring, 2001): 23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Beulah Hartman, “California Rural Supervisors Hold Significant Convention at Lake Tahoe, October 4th to 8th,” California Exchange Bulletin in Rural Education 1, no. 1 (November 1926): 33.Google Scholar
  3. 48.
    Helen Heffernan, “High Lights of Rural School Supervision,” WJE 35, no. 10 (December 1929): 9.Google Scholar
  4. 52.
    Clara Coldwell, “Teaching the Children of Seasonal Workers,” California Exchange Bulletin in Rural Education 1, no. 2 (January 1927): 59–62.Google Scholar
  5. 54.
    Iva Elleson, “Being a Teacher in a Migratory School,” WJE 36, no. 3 (March 1930): 9.Google Scholar
  6. 55.
    Helen Heffernan. Editor’s Note to “The Education of Migrant Children in Ventura County,” WJE 35, no. 10 (December 1929): 8.Google Scholar

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© Kathleen Weiler 2011

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