Americans have always had mixed emotions about schooling: in popular literature and television, teachers are often depicted as tyrannical authorities, even as in classroom settings they often try to style themselves as "friends." Dr. Rita Koganzon, professor of political science at the University of Houston, discusses the history of the idea of authority in education, dwelling on Enlightenment thinkers like Locke, Rousseau, and Bodin. Along the way, she covers contemporary issues like homeschooling and parents' rights, and how attitudes towards those concepts have changed from the Early Modern period to the present.
Koganzon is the author of Liberal States, Authoritarian Families: Childhood and Education in Early Modern Thought (Oxford UP, 2021). Also see her recent article "There Is No Such Thing as a Banned Book: Censorship, Authority, and the School Book Controversies of the 1970s."
Annika Nordquist is the Communications Coordinator of Princeton University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions and host of the Program’s podcast, Madison’s Notes. She graduated from Stanford University in 2021, where she studied Classics and Linguistics. She was also Editor-in-Chief of the Stanford Review and a member of the varsity fencing team. Previously, she was a Research Assistant in Education Policy at the American Enterprise Institute.