National Writing Project

Jane Addams in the Classroom

Date: August 13, 2015

Summary: We spoke to authors who contributed essays to Jane Addams in the Classroom about how Addam's life, work, and philosophy provide ongoing relevance in today's classrooms and Writing Project sites. Listen to the recording and view resources from the show.


Excerpt from Show

Beth Steffen , literacy coach at Madison LaFollette High School in Madison, Wisconsin describes how Jane Addams' insights can inspire modern teaching practice:

Jane Addams says all the time that you have to be responsive to the real needs of the real people with whom you work. She came to Hull House in 1889 with the vision of helping and she quickly found that her ideals were a little inflexible. She learned so much from the people with whom she worked with that it changed her approaches to serving and working with people. I think as a teacher, we come in with a vision of a curriculum, or a plan or content, and there's a really good quote from Addams where we learn 'that wisdom to deal with a man's difficulty only through knowledge of his life and habits as a whole.'"

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