Original Annotations on the Archival Materials

Annotations written by Megan McIntyre. 

1. Record of telephone conversation between Albert Kitzhaber and Caws, 12/2/64, indicating the tensions between NCTE and MLA. 

[Read here.] 

Context:

In the year before the proposal to Carnegie was finalized, Kitzhaber and Caws had a number of conversations about the benefits and challenges of a conference like the one eventually held at Dartmouth in 1966. Among the challenges from Caws’ perspective (and confirmed by Kitzhaber during this telephone call) is the disconnect between the two organizations most vital to English academics and teaching: the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the Modern Language Association (MLA). There had been, since the founding of NCTE in 1911, some tension between the two organizations due to the overlap in mission, purview, and membership. (It should also be noted that at the time of this call, Kitzhaber is President of NCTE, a position he assumed in 1963.) Additionally, at this point in discussions about what will become the Dartmouth Seminar, there haven’t yet been discussions about including representatives from Great Britain. This phone call represents the first mention of including the British.

Content:

During the call, according to Caws’ recollection here, Kitzhaber describes the current sources of tension between MLA and NCTE. The current tension, Kitzhaber says, is both personal and territorial: John Fisher at MLA (who served as Executive Secretary and editor of PMLA from 1963-1971, though he published in NCTE’s College English and via the NCTE press throughout the 1960s) and James Squire at NCTE (who served as Executive Secretary from 1960-1968) were both ambitious and felt the other was prone to overstepping their bounds/the bounds of their organization. Though specific incidents (NCTE’s creation of the “Commision on Literature”; MLA’s attempt to edit and distribute teaching materials) cause brief difficulties, Kitzhaber asserts that the two men and the organizations they represent are always able to reconcile because of they “put the welfare of the profession above organizational allegiance.” Caws also asks about the purview and membership of each organization; he asks whether it’s accurate to consider the MLA as the organization of college literary studies and teaching and the NCTE as the organization of K-12 teachers. Kitzahaber says that this is an oversimplification that elides important work and says rather the main difference is MLA’s emphasis on literary scholarship (mostly to the exclusion of teaching) and NCTE’s almost total focus on teaching English at all levels of school, K-16. The Commission on Literature (created by NCTE but with members from MLA, including John Fisher) is among the bodies that will support the work of the Dartmouth Seminar, so Kitzhaber offers to work more closely with MLA on the work of the Commission if that might improve the chances that Carnegie will fund the work of the Commission and the Seminar. Kitzhaber then notes that he’s been in discussions with Boris Ford, then Chairman of the National Association of Teachers of English, the newly established British counterpart to NCTE, about the work being done in England and Canada. Caws mentions the turmoil and lack of progress in English education in the US; Great Britain, Canada, and British Commonwealth countries, on the other hand, have been, Kitzhaber says, making progress not seen in the US: “The field is too important and the time too crucial to permit the profession the luxury of ignoring what is going on in other parts of the world.”

Brief annotation:

Kitzhaber and Caws discuss tensions between the MLA and NCTE as well as the possibility of inviting British teachers and professors of English to what will eventually become the Dartmouth Seminar in this telephone record dated December 2, 1964


 

 

2. Letter from Kitzhaber, dated 5/19/65, discussing the possible conference

[Read here.] 

Context:

Kitzhaber was director of the Oregon Curriculum Study Center throughout the 1960s. The Curriculum Study Center at the University of Oregon was one of the first six such centers funded via Project English, a Department of Education initiative intended to define English education in the United States and create resources to support standardized approaches to the teaching of English, especially K-12, throughout the US. (The Oregon Curriculum Study Center was funded by a $250,000 grant from the DOE in 1961.) According to Dan Dorian’s report on Project English, Kitzhaber’s center at Oregon was among the most ambitious and productive and, along with centers at Carnegie Mellon, the University of Nebraska, and Hunter College, produced more than 20,000 pages of curricular materials between 1961-1968. This letter (dated May 19, 1965 and received by Carnegie Corporation on May 24, 1965) represents the first formal communication from Kitzhaber to Carnegie regarding the Dartmouth Seminar, which will take place roughly a year after this letter. James Squire (Executive Secretary at NCTE and right hand of Kitzhaber when he was NCTE President) had already been engaged in informal discussions with Caws at Carnegie regarding the possibilities of such a conference; Kitzhaber, too, has had a number of conversations with Caws about the conference by the time he writes this letter. Kitzhaber’s dual positions as Immediate Past President of NCTE and Director of one of the most prodigious curriculum study centers in the US makes him a particularly central figure for the coming conversation about approaches to teaching English.

Content:

Kitzhaber begins by noting the previous conversations with Caws regarding a seminar dedicated to teaching English in the US, Canada, and Great Britain. Kitzhaber notes that the initial idea for the Seminar came from a conversation with Dr. Boris Ford, Chairman of the National Association of Teachers of English, the British counterpart to NCTE. Kitzhaber and Ford had been discussing the challenges for creating and disseminating English curricula, the unanswered questions around content and delivery of that curricula, and the lack of venues for doing such work. Kitzhaber commends the work of the “Basic Issues” Conference in 1958 (which developed 35 questions about English education and pedagogy, on topics from content to certification to professional development) and notes the conference and its questions “helped crystalize dissatisfaction” with the current state of English education. This dissatisfaction, Kitzhaber argues, calls for an extended discussion between American and British educators about how to address the problems plaguing the profession; such a discussion would give participants time to “read, talk, reflect, [and] form definite conclusions...with specific and concrete recommendations.” He also offers a size (“25 or 30 people”), scope (“literary analysis and criticism...linguistics...rhetoric, semantics, logic, and several of the behavioral sciences”) and argues for the inclusion of “at least ⅓” British educators. (He also offers a list of possible participants, including Walter Ong, Richard Ohmann, Wayne Booth, and James Squire.) He further suggests a location (“in the United States…[at] the campus of a leading university with excellent library facilities…[and] pleasant summer weather”) and a time (“the summer of 1966”). He ends by noting that he and Dr. Ford have discussed a joint planning session in England in the fall of 1965, that the NCTE has already agreed to send three representatives to such a planning meeting, and that James Squire has been instructed to reach out to the leadership of MLA to urge them to send representatives as well. Kitzhaber also discusses the potential cost of the conference: $100,000-$150,000 for the full Seminar. He ends by noting the importance of the conference he proposes: “I think such a conference is urgently needed and that from it would flow enormous benefits for both British and American education, primarily in the pre-college years but certainly with important implications that would favorably affect a great deal of undergraduate education.”

Brief annotation:

Albert Kitzhaber lays out the general parameters and importance of the meeting that will be become the 1966 Dartmouth Seminar in this letter to Peter Caws dated May 19, 1965.


 

 

3. Letter from Frank Whitehead, dated 6/14/65, indicating NATE’s interest in the conference

[Read here]

Context:

In 1965, Frank Whitehead replaced Boris Ford as Chairman of National Association of Teachers of English, the British counterpart to the NCTE in the US. NATE was, at the time of this letter, only two years old and not all that financially secure.

Content:

Newly elected Chairman of NATE, Frank Whitehead writes to Peter Caws to affirm his (and NATE’s) “whole-hearted” support for the planned Seminar the following year. Whitehead notes Caws’ previous conversations with the previous chairman, Boris Ford, and affirms that he and the organization wish to continue participating in the planning of the Seminar. Though formal approval from the full organization won’t be possible until just a month before the conference during NATE’s June 1966 meeting, Whitehead confirms the full support of the NATE Executive Board and the Board’s “wish to be associated with any request from NCTE and MLA” related to the Seminar. He also outlines the British view of the current state of the field of English education and notes that, in Great Britain at least, “a widespread readiness to re-think many of the issues involved” and new mandate through Britain's own “Project English,” which took its name and approach from the US Department of Education project of the same name. 

Brief annotation:

NATE Chairman Frank Whitehead writes to Peter Caws to express his and NATE’s support for the planned Seminar in this letter dated June 14, 1965.


 

 

4. Proposal for the Anglo-American Seminar on the Teaching of English (1966)

[Read here]

Context:

This official proposal follows approximately 18 months of discussions between Peter Caws at Carnegie Corporation and Albert Kitzhaber and James Squire at NCTE. It represents input from NATE (the British counterpart to NCTE) and some conversation with members of MLA. The conference is intended to build on the work of “Basic Issues” Conference in 1958, from which emerged a list of 35 questions that the profession of English education needed to address. The conference is also a response to widespread dissatisfaction, at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels, with how English literature and literacy were being taught in the US and the UK.

Content:

The full proposal (which spans 34 pages) begins with a cover letter from James Squire at NCTE to Peter Caws at Carnegie. The letter lists the members of the planning committee (who come from institutions and professional organizations in the US and the UK) and the reason for the conference, which he argues “could change the shape of English instruction for the next two decades.” The proposal itself includes a background (with a discussion of ongoing educational reform in the US and UK and the reasons for including scholars and teachers from the US and the UK in the same discussion), the list of 5 major problems/questions (“What is English?” “What is ‘continuity’ in English teaching?” “One road or many?” “Knowledge and Proficiency in English,” and “Standards and Attitudes”), 12 “minor issues” (ranging from the role of oral communication to the relationship between teaching English and teaching other languages to the role of external societies or bodies in establishing standards for teaching English), a "tentative list" of participants, plans for publications based on the Seminar, and a budget. The tentative list is notable for the names it includes who did not attend, e.g., Northrup Frye, Walter Ong, F.R. Leavis.

Brief annotation:

This full proposal (with its cover letter from November 1965) for the 1966 Dartmouth Seminar includes a proposal for the content of the Seminar as well as a list of tentative participants and a budget.


 

 

5. Letter from James Squire to Peter Caws, 11/3/65, accompanying the Proposal for the Anglo-American Seminar on the Teaching of English (1966), 2 pages

[Read here]

Context:

This cover letter, written on NCTE letterhead by James Squire in his capacity as Executive Secretary, accompanied the official grant proposal to Carnegie. As promised in correspondence throughout 1965 and 1966, the proposal officially comes from the National Association of Teachers of English (NATE) in the UK and the Modern Language Association (MLA) and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in the US. As discussed in the record of a telephone conversation between Albert Kitzhaber (from NCTE) and Peter Caws (from Carnegie) in December 1964, a collaboration between MLA and NCTE had seemed unlikely at times given the fraught history between the two organizations; this view was echoed by Marckwardt in a conversation with Caws in November 1965. This letter also references the planning committee meeting that occurred in the UK, which had been part of Kitzhaber’s plan, according to correspondence between Kitzhaber and Caws in May 1965 and a record of a breakfast conversation between Squire, Kitzhaber, and Caws in November 1965.

Content:

James Squire begins by noting that the enclosed proposal for the seminar is offered jointly by NATE, MLA, and NCTE but should not been seen as a meeting of any of those organizations; rather, the leader of the three organizations see the Seminar as “a carefully planned international study seminar involving many of the best minds in scholarship and teaching from each country.” Squire also shares the attendees at the planning meeting, which included representatives from NATE, MLA, and NCTE. Squire argues for the positive impact of such a meeting and offers to organize a meeting with representatives from Carnegie during the November 1965 NCTE convention, which was playing host to much of the British contingent for the proposed Seminar.

Brief Annotation:

In his capacity as NCTE Executive Secretary, James Squire officially presents Carnegie with the grant proposal for the 1966 Seminar (officially called the “International Seminar on the Teaching and Learning of English”) in this letter accompanying the proposal, dated November 3, 1965.


 

 

6. Memorandum from Peter Caws as preface to the proposal (1966)

[Read here]

Context:

Caws had met numerous times with organizers of the Dartmouth Seminar and was the person at Carnegie most familiar with the proposal and its potential implications for American, British, and Canadian attendees.

Content:

Caws’ memo focuses on the series of discussions between himself, Kitzhaber, Squire, Marckwardt, and others beginning in March 1964 and that eventually led to the proposal for the conference. Caws notes that one impetus for opening discussions about what will eventually become the Dartmouth Seminar was the publication of Kitzhaber’s 1963 book, Themes, Theories, and Therapy, which focused on English teaching at Dartmouth College and was part of the Carnegie Series. Caws’ ongoing conversations also produced a sense, he says, that English instruction was a “dreadful mess” but there was a decided lack of concrete ways of fixing it. Caws argues that engaging with “the establishment,” represented by Kitzhaber, et al., was among the best ways of trying to solve a seemingly intractable problem. He notes that the list of invitees represents excellent scholars from the US, Great Britain, and Canada, and he expresses optimism that the meeting will produce important new knowledge about and practical approaches to the teaching of writing and English in all three countries.

Brief annotation:

Peter Caws encourages the funding of the 1966 Anglo-American Seminar on the Teaching of English in a memo dated November 16, 1965.


 

 

7. Record of breakfast meeting with James Squire, Kitzhaber, Peter Caws, occurred 11/4/65, indicating the benefits for NATE as well for the Seminar

[Read here]

Context:

As forecast in Albert Kitzhaber’s letter to Peter Caws dated May 19, 1965, representatives from NATE, NCTE, and MLA met in England early in the fall of 1965 to discuss plans for the coming Seminar.

Content:

Caws relays Kitzhaber and Squire’s belief that the planning meeting held amongst the interested professional organizations (in the US, NCTE and MLA; in Great Britain, NATE) was quite productive: participants in the planning meeting agreed on more specific topics for the coming conference, compiled a list of participants, and chose a director for the Seminar itself. Overall, the pre-planning meeting confirmed for Kitzhaber and Squire the value of the coming Seminar. Caws also notes that Squire visited elementary and secondary schools in England during the visit and came away believing that the US attendees had much to learn from their British counterparts about “basic literacy and the encouraging of reading” but that American attendees might help their British counterparts with “the thoroughness of teaching of literature at the college level.”

Brief annotation:

Peter Caws recounts his conversation with James Squire and Albert Kitzhaber (both of NCTE) regarding the planning session held in England in advance of the 1966 Dartmouth Seminar is this meeting record dated November 4, 1965.


 

 

8. Record of telephone conversation between Marckwardt and Peter Caws, occurred 11/17/65, mentioning how this conference would bring the NCTE and MLA together, and university and school people in the UK.

[Read here]

Context:

As the project developed over the course of 1965, Kitzhaber and Squire successfully persuaded Albert Marckwardt to act as director of the Seminar. Marckwardt was an exception amongst mid-century linguists because of his significant interest in the teaching of reading and writing (see Robert Shafer’s “The Relationship between Linguistics and Education”). This conversation coincides with Kitzhaber and Squire’s formal request for funding, which was also submitted in November 1965.

Content:

Marckwardt begins by talking about the value of bringing educational reform ideas from the UK to the US and reiterates Kitzhaber’s belief that the Seminar could bring about “lasting and comprehensive change.” Marckwardt also explains his desire to do concrete work with fellow linguists to resolve longstanding disagreements that impact curricular decisions at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels. Marckwardt notes that the planning of the Seminar has already led to some of this sort of resolution: the process of planning the Seminar has led MLA and NCTE to move on from “long-standing differences” that have previously prevented the organizations from working together.

Brief annotation:

Seminar director Albert Marckwardt discusses the importance of the Seminar, particularly its capacity to bring together representatives from NCTE and MLA, secondary and post-secondary school settings, and British and American educators and scholars in this record of his discussion with Peter Caws, dated November 17, 1965.


 

 

9. Letter from Caws to Squire, dated 9/7/66, indicating Caws had dropped by the Seminar

[Read here]

Context:

During the Seminar itself, Peter Caws made a brief visit to Dartmouth to sit in on some discussions and meet participants. Throughout the discussion about and p lanning for the Seminar, Caws had expressed concern (and been repeatedly reassured by Markwardt, Squire, and Kitzhaber) that the Seminar would be more theoretical than practical and that it therefore would not have the consequential impact that organizers desired. His brief visit reignites/affirms these concerns.

Content:

Peter Caws writes to Squire during the Seminar to express his thanks for hosting Caws for a brief visit and to express his ongoing concern that the seminar “may look in retrospect like an exercise in theory rather than strategy.” He opines that previous reform work (including Project English) have resulted in little more than “more paper” rather than concrete changes to the teaching of English. Caws also requests that, if discussions are fruitful and result in new “strategy” or approaches to teaching English, Squire share those directly with Caws/Carnegie rather than forcing them to wait “for the books to get written.”

Brief annotation:

Peter Caws of Carnegie Corporation, after a brief visit to the in-progress Dartmouth Seminar, expresses his concern that the Seminar is not focused enough on concrete changes to the teaching of English in this letter dated September 7, 1966.


 

 

10. Letter from Squire to Caws, dated 9/23/66, reporting on the Seminar and its conclusions (4p), plus attached press release detailing findings (4p) 

[Read here]

Context:

As Caws requested in his letter in early September, Squire here sends an update from the Seminar. As both men expected, after the initial “niceties” of the opening sessions, the seminar turned heated, but Squire believes such impassioned arguments will ultimately benefit the movement as a whole. (This is certainly debatable; the ongoing tensions between MLA and NCTE, for example, which were part of the pre-seminar discussion between Kitzhaber and Caws, are certainly not erased by the Seminar.) Squire also reminds Caws that the impacts of the Seminar are unlikely to be immediately visible. (Caws and his colleagues at Carnegie had worried that results of the Seminar may be purely intellectual without any substantive impact on the actual teaching of English.) This letter might also be seen as among the first clear articulations of the value of process-based English studies (as Squire notes on pg. 2 the resistance of the Seminar’s participants to “pre-packaging units of instruction” and their emphasis on students’ interests and engagement) and at least a nod to the coming Expressivist movement (as Squire further notes on pg. 2 that there was consensus support for “more imaginative writing...a stress on creative dramatics, [and] improvisation”). The Seminar focused on other topics of contemporary interest, too, including the role of grammar instruction, the relationship between students’ home language practices and “standard English,” and the role of standardized testing. 

Content:

Squire begins by assuring Caws that the seminar has been home to “forceful speakers and thinkers representing all shades of opinion in the English world” and that “few...escaped searching self-analysis” during the sometimes heated discussions. Squire cautions, though, that outcomes and impact may take awhile to form, though he believes that John Dixon’s summary report will be able to balance the varying positions with care and enthusiasm. (Squire also notes that Herb Muller will be preparing a report, which will be straightforward, “readable and sound.”) Squire then shares a summary of the conversations and a building consensus on the framework for (if not the content of) English curricula: “The sense of the Seminar ran strongly against curriculum construction which concentrates on parcelling out segments of content to various grade levels, against prepackaging units of instruction, and predesigning sequences for learning which ignore the unique capacities of individual students. British and American scholars alike questioned the conception of presenting to young people an inert, established "content," be it literature, language, or rhetoric...The pupil's own intellectual and emotional involvement in the uses of language and his active exploration of human experience in both literature and life seemed to provide the central themes for much of the discussion.” There’s further support among attendees for “experiences in literature (rather than literary criticism or history), more imaginative writing (a possible road to better expository writing?), a stress on creative dramatics, improvisation, and informal class discussion.” There was disagreement, however, regarding the role of explicit instruction on “the forms of the language (sentence patterns, usage, rhetorical patterns),” with American attendees, especially those in English education, largely in favor and British attendees largely against. Squire notes, though, that all attendees agreed that “instruction in grammar had no effect on the writing of pupils and should not be introduced for that purpose.” Furthermore, attendees agreed that “[students’] dialects should be respected” but disagreed about the role of English instruction in altering such dialects and “the extent to which schools should attempt to change dialects to accommodate social pressures which some American and British participants viewed as reflecting prejudiced views.” Squire ends by pointing to emerging partnerships, including a potential one between James Britton and an American scholar (Squire suggests James Moffett) who might contribute to Britton’s massive study of student writing in the UK. (Squire also inquires about whether Carnegie might be willing to fund that collaboration.) 

Brief annotation:

James Squire of NCTE, as follow-up to Caws’ (from Carnegie Corporation) visit and letter a few weeks earlier, sends this update about the ongoing conversations happening at the Seminar along with a press release that publicizes the work of the seminar in this correspondence dated September 23, 1966.


 

 

11. Letter from James Squire to Peter Caws 2/20/1967 referencing the Muller and Dixon books, with attachment about results of the Seminar 

[Read here]

Context:

Following the conclusion of the Seminar itself, Squire and other Seminar leaders sought out dissemination venues in NCTE and MLA journals and beyond. (Such publications were, indeed, a requirement of the grant from Carnegie.) This letter and its appendix enumerate the planned publications, which include two monographs, a series of “pamphlets,” and articles/updates to be published in MLA’s PMLA and NCTE’s College English.

Content:

Squire begins by apologizing for the months-long lag in his correspondence to Carnegie Corporation and Caws. He also notes that Herb Muller’s promised text on the Seminar is now forthcoming (in fall 1967), and he expects that Dixon’s book will also be published (simultaneously by NATE in the UK and the MLA/NCTE in the US) around the same time. Squire goes on to request a slight shift in the planned allocation of funds so that they might send free copies of Dixon’s book to “influential educational leaders” and political leaders in the UK, US, and Canada. Squire also encloses a longer review of the status of each of the post-Seminar dissemination plans, which include Muller’s and Dixon’s books, thematic pamphlets about topics addressed by the seminar (including “language,” “drama,” and “response to literature”), and articles from Seminar leaders (including Marckwardt, Moffett, and Kitzhaber). Squire’s enclosure also features updates on the ongoing joint committee work and follow up meetings/conversations.

Brief annotation:

James Squire updates Carnegie Corporation about Seminar Organizers’ publication plans in this letter to Peter Caws, dated February 20, 1967.


 

 

12. Merron Chorney’s report from CCTE and an attached note from Dunham 1972

[Read here]

Context:

As part of the original Carnegie grant for the Dartmouth Seminar, organizers had requested $10,000 for follow up activities. That money was eventually delegated to the International Steering Committee (which included members from the UK’s NATE, the US’s NCTE and MLA, and Canada’s CCTE), which maintained primary responsibility for disseminating findings and materials developed at the Seminar. (The author of this letter, Merron Chorney, was the inaugural president of CCTE and chair of the International Steering Committee.) The other important piece of context for this correspondence is the relative silence of NCTE after the Seminar concluded: as Dunham states in his attached note, as of this letter, Carnegie had not yet received the final report on the grant, despite repeated attempts to contact NCTE. That final report wouldn’t come until 1977, a decade after the Seminar and after the death of Seminar leader Albert Markwardt (in 1975).

Content:

Chorney opens by noting that the original grant for the 1966 Seminar included an allocation (of $10,000) for follow up activities and that the International Steering Committee,  the group Chorney writes on behalf of, has taken on that work. Chorney argues that the two most important outcomes from the Seminar are (1) a basis for reexamining the content and conduct of English curricula and (2) an example of the value of international dialogue about English studies. The International Steering Committee has worked to further both of these outcomes through the promotion of Dixon and Muller’s texts and through “seeding” inquiry and conversation that take up question/issues raised by the Seminar and the work that followed after. In addition, the Steering Committee has facilitated two international English education conferences (one in Vancouver, BC, Canada in 1967 and one in York, England in 1971). The first of these conferences (which included talks by more than 30 of the original Dartmouth attendees) also saw the formation of the CCTE, which was funded in part by support from the International Steering Committee. Chorney also notes that the Steering Committee has begun informal discussions with English educators in Australia and New Zealand. He also notes that they’ve supported an international teacher exchange, with approximately 500 American English educators studying in the UK at New College, Oxford and the University of York. This, and other programs sponsored and supported by the International Steering Committee, Chorney argues, represent the most successful extension of the initial goals of the Seminar.

Chorney’s letter is accompanied by a brief note from E. Alden Dunham (Executive Associate at Carnegie). Dunham remarks that he has written to NCTE 5 times requesting the final grant report and has not yet had any success. (He will, he says, try to reach them by phone now.) He also notes that Chorney’s group seems to have done quite a lot with a small amount of money and has, in fact, “made $10,000 go further than any similar sum in [his] experience.”

Brief Annotation:

Merron Chorney, chair of the International Steering Committee (which grew out of the 1966 Seminar), reports on the establishment and subsequent work of his Committee, in this letter to E. Alden Dunham (Executive Associate, Carnegie Corporation) dated March 13, 1972. The letter is accompanied by an undated note from Dunham remarking that Chorney’s committee did significant work with very little money and reiterating the Carnegie Corporation’s inability to obtain a final report for the Seminar from NCTE.


 

 

13. Robert Hogan’s final report from NCTE, focusing on the International Steering Committee 1977

[Read here]

Context:

Despite the seemingly cordial and close relationship between Caws at Carnegie and Squire at NCTE, Carnegie spent more than a decade following the Seminar trying to get a final report on how grant funds were spent and a statement from Marckwardt and from NCTE about the implications and impact of the Seminar. (And, it seems, the 1966 Seminar grant wasn’t the only one with materials outstanding: this final report notes that, eventually, NCTE returned more than $6,000 of the grant money awarded to Marckwardt for a study of literacy education in Europe.) The final report from Marckwardt on his funded study and his follow-up on the 1966 Dartmouth Seminar, however, were never penned: Marckwardt died in 1975 without drafting it, and any preliminary versions of these reports were not found among his papers (as of the writing of this letter two years later). The absence of that report and the death of Marckwardt mean that Robert Hogan, now Executive Secretary of NCTE (replacing James Squire), here tries to offer as complete a picture of the Seminar as possible without the aid of either of the two men at NCTE (Marckwardt and Squire) who were most involved with its creation. 

Content:

Hogan begins by affirming that NCTE had recently returned around $6,000 in grant money for another of Marckwardt’s projects and acknowledging that this final report is the final thing owed to Carnegie for their grants to NCTE in the mid-1960s. Hogan then informs Mosher that Marckwardt has passed away (of a heart attack in 1975), which is why Hogan is writing on behalf of NCTE. (Both Carnegie grant-funded projects are finalized in this letter.) Hogan then moves on to discuss the decade of work by the International Steering Committee. As he notes, that committee has grown since its inception shortly after the Seminar’s conclusion and now includes representatives from Canada’s Canadian Council of Teachers of English (CCTE) and the Australian Association of Teachers of English (AATE). In its 10+ year history, the International Steering Committee’s focus had shifted toward “English in the schools, teacher preparation and inservice education, and post-secondary education, but not formal university teaching or scholarship,” and the presence and participation of MLA had diminished considerably. The International Steering Committee had (as noted in Chorney’s 1972 letter) focused on international conferences, seed grants, the publication and distribution of work on English education, and collaboration between scholars and teachers from North America, UK, and Canada. Hogan also notes two disappointments, however: (1) the first of the planned thematic pamphlets on key topics from the 1966 Seminar was a commercial failure in the UK and subsequent pamphlets were never produced and (2) a planned third international conference (to follow the 1967 conference in Vancouver and the 1971 conference in York) was never held. (This failure, Hogan says, resulted from a lack of funding for UK participants and a reluctance by the proposed Canadian hosts to fund non-Canadian attendees.) Hogan reports that subsequently, in the winter of 1976, NCTE, NATE, CCTE, and AATE each pitched in $150 to support the continued existence of the International Steering Committee and that there is still potential for a subsequent conference, perhaps to be held in Australia but that any other future plans are “unknown.”

Brief Annotation:

Robert F. Hogan, Executive Secretary of NCTE, offers a final report on the 1966 Dartmouth Seminar in this letter to Fritz Mosher (program officer and policy analyst for Carnegie Corporation) received on June 24, 1977.