Superintendent James Greenwood and Teacher Training Programs in the Kansas City, Missouri School District

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Abstract

While recovering from the Civil War in 1860s, Kansas City acquired the site of the first bridge over the Missouri River, the Hannibal Bridge, which was completed in 1869. In doing so, Kansas City beat out competing cities like Leavenworth, Kansas; Atchison, Kansas; and St. Joseph, Missouri. This led to rapid population increases from 4,418 in 1860, 32,260 in 1870, 132,716 by 1890, and 248,381 in 1910 (Case 1888, 47; Gibson 1988). As the city grew, civic leaders saw the need to create a school district to handle the educational needs of the rising population. The Kansas City, Missouri School District was created in 1867, and after hiring two previous superintendents, in 1874, they recruited James Greenwood, a professor at a teacher-training institute, to manage the growth and expansion of the district. James Greenwood proved to be an early force in Kansas City education, serving as superintendent for almost forty years. Though he was pivotal in establishing the groundwork for a large, urban school district, few historical analyses have been written about his perspectives and impact on education. This paper seeks to investigate his ideas and policies as they connected with the growth of Kansas City, Missouri, while contextualizing his attributes against characterization of his contemporary superintendents. Of particular interest in his work will be his attitudes towards training teachers, which I argue was developed during his time background at a teacher training institute and manifested into unique teacher training programs in the Kansas City, Missouri School District.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-54
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Educational History Journal
Volume46
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Superintendents
  • Teacher Education Programs
  • School Districts
  • Teacher Education
  • Boards of Education
  • Kansas (Kansas City)

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