Songs, Heroes, and Legends: The Cultural Side of Rural Public Education in the Cokato, Minnesota Community (1910-1935)

Minnesota Humanities Commission
Gloria Morris-Grothe
Project Duration: 
Jun 7 1996 to Oct 15 1997
Project Description: 

The project explored the way public schools functioned in a community of the past to help students of an immigrant population achieve goals, reach aspirations, and develop character traits compatible with a democratic society. The project was an extension of documentation for the researcher's M.A. thesis about the relationship of Swedish songs to immigrant experience both in the Swedish homeland and in this country. The project involved a case study of rural Minnesota schools near the town of Cokato, 1910-1935. During that period, public schools placed much emphasis on Americanization, the U.S. became involved in World War I, and the Great Depression followed.

In 1997, two public presentations of the project research results were made, one at the Cokato Museum/Historical Society, and the other for the Minnesota Independent Scholars’ Forum at the Walker Library in Minneapolis. In 1998, the research results were sent to both Education Committee members of the state legislature and to the University of Minnesota’s Center for School Change.