Progressive Education Revisited

Progressive Education Revisited

Guest post by Steven Baule, Superintendent at Muncie Community Schools, Indiana: Salman Khan mentioned Carleton Washburne, a key progressive era educator, is his text, The One World Schoolhouse. At the turn of the previous century, Progressive Education, was trying to build a system to meet the needs of all students. John Dewey is probably the most recognizable figure among the American Progressive Movement that lasted from about 1880 through 1940 when displaced first by the Second World War and then by the Space Race. Many educators know his name from foundations courses early in our pre-service educations. His text, Democracy and Education has value for modern educators. Progressive educators advocated for a more holistic and individualized approach to education. Today’s advances in technology allow many of the ideas of the Progressive Movement to be realized. Taking a bit of time this summer to review the potential impact of the Eight Year Study on integrating curriculum and other Progressive projects makes sense. A 1971 article in ASCD’s journal spoke to the need to review the work of the Eight Year Study. The University of Houston’s College of Education provides a brief overview of some of the key Progressive initiatives about individualized education. The University of Vermont provides a brief summary of Progressive Education and a short reading list for those interested in learning more. So, this summer while you are visiting the beach or taking a staycation, take a trip back to the 1930s and learn more about Progressive Education.

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