A cultural history of professional teacher preparation at Bethune-Cookman College
Roane, Florence Lovell
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In a thematic pattern of historical considerations, this study has made a critical and interpretive analysis of the development of teacher preparation at Bethune-Cookman College for the purpose of helping people in positions of responsibility to pattern the future growth of the College. There is a sense in which Bethune-Cookman College is a model for a utopian design in which the program of the College is recreated toward an educational potential for developing a teacher who may effectively deal with the problems of a crisis culture, on the one hand, and at the same time assist the Negro in lifting his self-image through education. The study taps the reservoirs of historical experience in order to reveal the problems of today in enlightening perspective. The study presses the point that the utopian design may emerge from such a perspective. Therefore, Bethune-Cookman College is demonstrated to be in a state of readiness for social reconstruction. Through the pragmatic method of writing history, the study proceeds thematically as follows: 1. It defines the influences of the plantation society of the ante-bellum period and the educational efforts of the postbellum period as they are residual in the present-day social-cultural milieu. 2. It observes the conditions surrounding the Negro teacher, particularly with regard to certain subtle practices of eidetic image, color visibility, and stigmas of oppression which depreciate self-esteem and breed inferiority. 3. It hypothesizes that education may be designed to give value to freedom of choice and decision-making; that freedom is the result of intelligent choice and is created by those who seek it; that the teacher must be liberated from an inferior selfimage and find security in self-esteem; that in the rich symbolisms of the background of the College, the personality and faith of the founder, and the cultural heredity derived from the history of the College, there is the potential for institutional fulfillment; that as the institution finds fulfillment, it may hopefully liberate those who study there; and that a liberated teacher is prepared to offer a liberalizing instructional program. 4. It elaborates on the possible outcomes of the hypothesized alternatives through responding to eight significant questions based upon eight human wishes: a. For the College's more effective partnership with social change b. For ways in which the College may promote cultural innovations for freedom c. For preserving values inherent in the present College plan through adding innovations that keep pace with cultural change d. For broadening the instructional curriculum to cope with crisis conflict e. For utilizing the symbolic philosophy and practices of the College to enrich its offerings toward the alleviation of sources of conflict f. For giving leadership to the search for futures and for developing advance preparation toward realizing the futures anticipated g. For developing a curriculum designed to remove the stigma of social deprivation from the presence of the Negro in society h. For utilizing the heart-head-hand philosophy as a symbolic guide toward lifting the self-image of the Negro. 5. It proposes ways of establishing the new design for teacher preparation, and for testing it out in positive social situations that relate to uses of the past and to the fulfillment of the predictable future. The study concludes that there are immeasureable possibilities for recreating Bethune-Cookman College to fulfill the new design that may transform the educational function of teacher education, not just for Bethune-Cookman College alone or just for the Negro group alone, but for all mankind.
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RightsCopyright FLORENCE LOVELL ROANE 1967. All Rights Reserved.