The Resource "A Bootlegged Curriculum" : The American Legion versus Harold Rugg
- "A Bootlegged Curriculum" : The American Legion versus Harold Rugg
- Title remainder
- The American Legion versus Harold Rugg
- Statement of responsibility
- Karen L. Riley and Barbara Slater Stern
- While American Legion officials wasted few words condemning the works of John Dewey and his followers, they really focused their attention and efforts on the curriculum materials developed and written by Harold Rugg. In 1941, as the U.S. prepared for war, the American Legion was busy writing and distributing the pamphlet, "The Complete Rugg Philosophy," outlining the Legion officials belief that Rugg's plan was to indoctrinate students to turn away from Americanism to Socialism or Communism. This paper examines "The American Legion Magazine" and their pamphlet series, "The Complete Rugg Philosophy," produced from 1941 until the advent of Sputnik, assessing the nature of the American Legion's attack on Rugg. The paper presents the social reconstructionist ideas of Rugg and his contemporaries, along with an overview of academic freedom at the secondary or public school level. It notes that, while much has been said about academic freedom at the college and university level, there is only fragmented knowledge of how public school teachers in the early decades of the 20th century dealt with this issue, particularly concerning the Rugg materials. The paper finds that what set Rugg apart from other intellectual reconstructionists of the 1920s and 1930s, making him an easy target for patriotic watchdog organizations, was that his writings and materials made their way into the public school system. (Contains 68 references.) (BT)
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