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Heart BeatsEveryday Life and the Memorized Poem$
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Catherine Robson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691119366

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691119366.001.0001

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The Memorized Poem in British and American Public Education

The Memorized Poem in British and American Public Education

(p.33) Part I The Memorized Poem in British and American Public Education
Heart Beats

Catherine Robson

Princeton University Press

This chapter investigates recitation's progress within the mass educational systems that developed in Great Britain and the United States over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Thus, this historical survey begins by scrutinizing the experiences of partial populations of individuals at relatively elite levels of society. First, it considers the utility of verse and memorization for very early learners, examining the service role played by poetry and poetic devices in the extended period during which rudimentary education in English was understood primarily as a necessary tool to unlock the Bible and Christian scriptures. It then proceeds to the era in which certain kinds of schools began to assign the memorization and recitation of vernacular literary and oratorical extracts as a task for their advanced readers. The chapter concludes with a brief consideration of the factors that affected the constitution of juvenile recitation canons over the years.

Keywords:   recitation, popular education, mass educational systems, British public education, American public education, early learners, rudimentary education, advanced readers, juvenile recitation canons

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