International Association of Educators   |  ISSN: 2834-7919   |  e-ISSN: 1554-5210

Volume 9 Issue 1 (February 2013)

Issue Information

Special Issue: Progressive Education: Antecedents of Educating for Democracy

pp. i - vi



Short Communications

Editorial for the Series of Three Issues: Progressive Education: Past, Present and  Future

Bertram C. Bruce

pp. 7 - 9



Editorial for Progressive Education: Antecedents of Educating for Democracy

John L. Pecore, & Bertram C. Bruce

pp. 10 - 13



Original Articles

Anti-progressivism in Education: Past and Present

Wayne J. Urban

pp. 14 - 24


This essay takes a look at what I call anti-progressivism in education or, more particularly, criticism of progressive education that was so vocal and visceral that it earns a label, at least initially, of anti-progressivism. After a brief introduction discussing the terms in general, I look at three instances of anti-progressivism in the 1950s and 1960s, in works by Arthur Bestor , Jr. published in 1953., and by Richard Hofstadter and James Bryant Conant, both published in 1963. My analysis of each reveals them to be works produced as part of a larger battle over the control of teacher education at American universities. Also, I argue that these works were by authors operating at least somewhat within a progressive tradition, rather than by outsiders to the tradition. The contours of this inter-academic progressive criticism of progressivism are then elaborated on and I close with a look at how this all relates to the contemporary situation in American teacher education.

Keywords: academic disciplines, anti-intellectualism, anti-progressivism, teacher education

Coming to care about teaching for social justice: The Putney Graduate School of Teacher Education (1950-1964)

Carol R. Rodgers

pp. 26 - 40


This article explores one teacher education program‘s experiment in ―turning the souls‖ of its students to help them understand and care deeply about issues of race and social justice, as well as issues of environmental sustainability. The Putney Graduate School of Teacher Education, (1950-1964) a small, ―reconstructionist‖ program, was based upon Deweyan principles of choice, discovery, and student-generated learning and had as its underlying tenet a commitment to ―change the world.‖ These goals created a tension between the value of student independence and the program‘s political values and commitments. Nonetheless, students discovered reasons for education that lay beyond themselves, their experiences, the classroom, and their traditional notions of school. By immersing students in experiences that moved them emotionally, exposing their own, often disturbing, limited and limiting assumptions, students developed a willing accountability for changing their world. They came to care about social justice.

Keywords: Teacher education, social justice, Putney Graduate School of Teacher Education

Moral Problems as Issues-Centered Social Studies Education: Discovering Dewey as a Guiding Foundation

C. Gregg Jorgensen

pp. 41 - 58


By considering ethics and morals from a vantage point in which personal and political beliefs become part of our national debate, students could form the habit of political discussion in much the same way that representatives of social and political groups prepare and respond on a daily basis to an ever inquiring media. I will explore several examples of media, including social media, confronting, debating, and disseminating in new ways challenging issues facing today‘s global communities. As a solid counter-point to social media, indeed all  media impact, in a rapidly changing global environment, Dewey provides important messages to encourage today‘s educators to actively bolster a reflective thinking, issues-centered approach founded on ethics and morals. Dewey‘s writings on ethics, morals and democracy can open the door and allow students to become socially and politically engaged in the myriad of issues confronting 21st  century citizens.

Keywords: John Dewey, ethics and morals, reflective thinking, public and social media, issues-centered education

Saving a Progressive Vision: Moving the Barnes Collection1

Walter Feinberg

pp. 59 - 72


This paper examines the progressive understanding of art advanced by Albert Barnes, and asks how the educational vision for his large collection of art might be preserved as it has  now moves from its location in the idyllic suburban setting in Merion, PA to the hustle and bustle of central Philadelphia. I submit that the vision will be endangered unless the intent of the collector, Barnes, is clearly understood. For Barnes the collection was for the purpose of educating and not just for viewing. While the move in itself need not diminish this purpose it will take considerable attention to realize the education vision in the way that Barnes intended. In the process of making this argument I examine the mutual influence of Albert Barnes and Dewey on progressive views about aesthetic education and also on their views about the role that aesthetics plays in democracy. I conclude with my own impression of the new home for the Barnes.

Keywords: Saving a Progressive Vision: Moving the Barnes Collection

John Dewey and the Challenge of Progressive Education

Leonard J. Waks

pp. 73 - 83


In The School and Society John Dewey noted new tendencies in education, e.g., manual training and nature study. He raised two related questions: (1) how are we to understand the new educational trends as reflections of the social context—as an inevitable effort to bring education into line with the broader pattern of change in industrial society? And (2) how are we to build upon and direct them and align them with democratic social ideals? Analogous questions arise in today‘s era of economic globalization, and information technology networks, as we observe new educational trends from collaborative learning to charter schools, and even virtual schools.

This essay reviews Dewey's answers to questions 1 and 2 in School and Society, and then uses them as a template for an analogous inquiry into today‘s situation. I raise two parallel questions: (1) how may we understand our new educational trends in relation to the global network context? And (2) how may we build upon and direct these new educational trends to realize the contemporary democratic aspirations of a global network society?

Keywords: John Dewey, Progressive Education, Social Context, Information Society

21st  Century Learning and Progressive Education: An Intersection

Tom Little

pp. 84 - 96


The seminal tenets of progressive education bear a striking resemblance to the newly fashionable principles associated with with a new movement known as ―21st Century Education. This article traces the development of progressive education principles, starting with the founding of the Progressive Education Association, and shows their close proximity to 21st century educational attributes and goals. It demonstrates how the principles underpinning progressive education emerge over and over again as operative and successful educational practice, and how 21st century reformers may benefit from turning attention to other principles of progressive education to fully prepare students for the future.

Keywords: tenets of progressive education; 21st Century learning; education trends

Co-Creating a Progressive School: The Power of the Group

Fred Burton, Chris Collaros, & Julie Eirich

pp. 97 - 108


Drawing on the past and current practices of a group of educators that just celebrated its 40th year as a progressive elementary school in a suburban public school system, the article begins by considering the role that various groups have played in sustaining the school‘s success for over four decades. These groups include a long-term university partnership, practitioners of whole language, and parents. Then, after describing the critical role of two important group created documents, the Ten Principles of Progressive Education and a triangular graphic depicting the Curriculum of Progressive Education, the authors describe the relationship of how the power of these groups have used the documents to intentionally stay centered as well as move them ―off balance‖ in order to continue to evolve and strengthen their progressive education practices. Finally, the article shares two classroom examples where teachers use  the group and the documents to conduct authentic curriculum classroom studies.

Keywords: progressive elementary schools; collaborative inquiry; integrated curriculum; educational partnerships

Where’s Wonder?

Fred Burton

pp. 109 - 118


After 36 years of working as a progressive educator in American schools, the author notes the near absence of joy, passion, and imagination that today‘s students experience.          He asks,

―Where‘s wonder?‖ In this essay, the author makes a case for the role of wonder in learning as he reflects on his work with schools and museum educators at the Columbus Museum of Art‘s Center for Creativity. After sharing his own perspectives on  wonder,  he  further explores and frames the idea by reconsidering two concepts from two major philosophers and practitioners of progressive education: 1) the late progressive philosopher and physicist David Hawkins and 2) educator Eleanor Duckworth. Drawing inspiration from the preschools of Reggio Emilia, the author then makes a special case for wonder as a group endeavor that contributes to something larger than the individual.

Keywords: role of play in education; progressive education history; arts in education

The Democratic School and the Pedagogy of Janusz Korczak: A Model of Early Twentieth Century Reform in Modern Israel

Liba H. Engel

pp. 119 - 132


This article explores the history and pedagogy of Janusz Korczak within  the context of his contemporary early Twentieth-Century European Innovative Educators which include Maria Montessori, Homer Lane, A.S. Neill, and Anton Semyonovitch Makarenko. The pedagogies of the aforementioned are compared and contrasted within the literature.

Keywords: Janusz Korczak, Montessori, Lane, Makarenko

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