"Memories evokes the sense of community that was so pronounced in rural Georgia during the twentieth century. It captures the way education worked back then, when schooling was not guaranteed by the state, and when local communities were often left pretty much on their own to build and maintain schools, purchase school books, and even put up the teacher."
—Robert Cohen, New York University
While Puckett offers a valuable perspective on schooling in the twentieth-century rural South, she also captures the essence of daily life in the communities in which she taught. We read of how she sometimes boarded with parents of her pupils, of how teachers, students, and parents joined together in observance of holidays, of the rituals of school openings and closings, and of how schooling managed to continue through the busy growing seasons. Personal details of Puckett's life also emerge, from her relationship with her parents to life at home with her husband and their eight children.
Martha Mizell Puckett's career paralleled the transformation of small, informal community school systems into consolidated, government supported, bureaucratic structures. Through Puckett's eyes our own are opened--to hard times, certainly, but also to a time of notable closeness and involvement between schools and their communities.
Read more about rural education at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.
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