Education's Histories

methodological grist for the history of education


Education’s Histories is an online journal focused on histories of education.  It considers not only digital and analog research on schooling but also such research on education outside the institution of school.  Education’s Histories examines the content, form, and methods of research others have done and presents new research, too.  Special attention, at least for now, is given to methodological problems, practices, and innovations in the history of education field, particularly those in the digital environment.  In fact, we intend for it to provide methodological grist for the field.  We are calling our narrative style “creative non-fiction” with scholarly proclivities.

Education’s Histories is borne out of a twin desire to look closely at learning and educative possibilities beyond the formal school as well as discuss explicitly how to find, recognize, and make sense of these possibilities through analog and digital means.  While the call for a broad view of education history is not anything new, the methodological possibilities for historical inquiry in a digital environment are.  Special attention will be given to these possibilities and their theoretical implications.

Orienting questions:

  • What does education look like?  How do we recognize it when we sense it?
  • What processes and tools do we use to construct education histories?

Dr. Adrea Lawrence, an associate professor in the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Montana, co-curates and edits the journal.  You can contact her at

Sara Clark, a History of Education Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education at Indiana University, co-curates and edits the journal. You can contact her at

If you have questions or comments about Education’s Histories, please contact us at

A Note on the Header Image

The header image for the site, “A Bookmark Would Be Better!” is a Works Projects Administration poster created by Arlington Gregg sometime between 1936 and 1940.  This poster, among others, is housed at the Library of Congress.  The stylized person in this image is ironing down a dogeared corner of a book on which he is standing, though the book itself is not fully visible.  Presumably, this poster was made for libraries.  This image highlights how individualized reading and its significance can be while the caption suggests that leaving traces of an individual’s reading, such as a crease, is not always preferable, especially when a single copy of a text might be shared among many people.  Nevertheless—and without question—readers leave physical reminders of what they have found meaningful, and this makes reading a multimodal experience that layers readerly and writerly conversations.1  The original writer created the text, conveying a message to a reader about ideas or sources of provocation; a reader then converses with the writer whom s/he is reading, noting passages that invoke meaning; and, a reader of a reader reproduces this process, though s/he might find alternate passages and annotations of the writer or the previous reader resonant.  This is what historians do.  They attempt to reconstruct meaning of texts given the traces that past people have left behind.  This process is accretive and perhaps akin to geologic phenomena.


Header Image:  Arlington Gregg.   A Book Mark Would Be Better!  January 1, 1936.  The Library of Congress:

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.