Authors

Rachael E. O'Dell '16, Gettysburg College

Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2016

Department

History

Abstract

Secondary schools during World War II were viewed as a vital component of the war effort on the home front. The nation’s youth were seen as important potential contributors to the war effort, and were educated as such. The atmosphere of total war especially affected social studies classes at this level. An analysis of contemporary educational journals and supplementary teaching materials reveals that secondary school students were virtually indoctrinated with democratic and patriotic values in their social studies classes in wartime schools. Social studies classes thus functioned as a route through which students could be encouraged to participate in the war effort. They were also a far-reaching system that attempted to unify the nation’s youth in support of the war.

Comments

Written for HIST 421: Seminar: The U.S. and World War II.

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