David KomlineMay 6, 2021
The Common School Awakening
Religion and the Transatlantic Roots of American Public Education
Oxford University Press 2020
The origins of American public schools can help shed light on continued contemporary discussions around religion and education in American discourse. In The Common School Awakening: Religion and the Transatlantic Roots of American Public Education (Oxford UP, 2020), historian David Komline explores the rise of educational models that introduced professional teaching and systematic educational standards alongside a period of interdenominational Protestant cooperation. Some of the origins of American public education were linked to religious revivals in the early nineteenth century, though many of the educational innovations would outlive their religious movement that catalyzed them. Komline's study brings attention to the under-explored religious dimension of the rise of American public education, and provides much-needed insight into the origins some of the perennial tensions of public education in a pluralistic society.
Ryan David Shelton (@ryoldfashioned) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.