What the Odd History of ‘Pulling Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps’ Says About Education Equity

There’s a phrase that’s used rather a lot when speaking concerning the American Dream, a phrase that captures this concept that anybody can stand up and make their very own fortune: “Pulling your self up by your bootstraps.” And it seems, the idiom has a exact—and stunning—origin story.

It begins again in 1834, with an inventor from Nashville, Tennessee, named Nimrod Murphree.

For this episode of the EdSurge Podcast, we glance again on the unusual begin to this phrase, and what it’s evolution says about academic fairness. To do this, we get some assist from Ben Zimmer, the language columnist for the Wall Road Journal; Alissa Quart, a well-liked creator; and Michael Anthony Carnacchi, a bootmaker in Sebastopol, California.

Might the phrase be on its means out, because the pandemic and different components change how we take into consideration our place on the planet?

That is the primary episode of a six-episode podcast collection—known as Bootstraps—that EdSurge is co-producing with Open Campus, a journalism nonprofit. It’s known as Bootstraps, and you’ll search for new episodes every month.

Take heed to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play Music, or wherever you take heed to podcasts, or use the participant beneath.

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