Date of Award

Fall 1994

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Kurimay, Michael


The purpose of this historical research was to provide a credible retelling of the records and memories of the Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee during the period 1955-1980, through an administrative angle. Specifically, the study focused on several interactive variables: the sudden expansion and later rapid decline of Catholic elementary student enrollment; the transition from a predominantly religious staff to a predominantly lay staff; and the plethora of modifications experienced by both the teaching staffs and students throughout the archdiocesan elementary schools. These changes responded in many ways to increased local, state, and national moves supporting pedagogical trends, societal demands, pastoral documents, legal mandates, and changing lifestyles. This twenty-five year framework was chosen due to the fact it definitively encompassed the voluminous and sudden changes being studied. Furthermore, no twenty-five year period in the twentieth century witnessed so drastic and so many changes. As a product and now an employee of the Catholic schools in Milwaukee, this researcher has always been fascinated with these aforementioned dynamics of the Catholic elementary schools. Though there are a few published treatments focusing on the elementary schools of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, especially addressing this very significant quarter century time frame, none are presented in a compendious manner. This fact strengthened the merit of this research endeavor.



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