John Dewey – Progressive Education Movement

John Dewey, was a philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer well known for his work in education. “It is generally agreed that John Dewey (1859-1952) is the Father of American Education and the Greatest American Educator Ever.” (Price, 2012) Dewey was a strong voice for the “Progressive Education Movement” and still has influence today, to establish American public schools normality through liberalism, that is, through taxpayer funded schemes. He brought a view of heightened regulatory administrations as being a fundamental concept for schools. Dewey also brought situational ethics back into use by academics and ethical articles.

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John Dewey even though having great influence for his views on education, he was also advocating for educational reforms that did not exactly embody the views which people knew and associated him for. For more on Dewey’s progressive education and why his specific ideas are bad read pages 60-62 of Education: Free and Compulsory. “[Such reforms are considered sly as] the public didn’t ask for his ideas and would have rejected them if they had had the chance.” (Price, 2012) For him education ideals were meant to be enforced through reforms in government policies.

“[At a] Teachers College [meeting], Columbia University, in 1933, […] politics was first injected into education [and the] profit system was asserted to be an excrescence on the body politic, as John Dewey had long believed it to be.” (DeArnmond, 2009) Even though the profit system brings about more better quality and cheaper education options, for more on this read my article on Positive Externalities in Higher Education. “All of [Dewey’s] grand theories, his scores of books, and his hundreds of articles can be summed up as a program for making America socialist.” (Price, 2012)

Frederick Taylor and Edward Mandell House were both Dewey’s fellow progressives that like him “[…] believed the new community would be controlled by sophisticated administrators of the “system” who understood the problems of individualism.” (Tooley, 2009) Frances Kellor who was an American social reformer/investigator was also a supporter of Dewey and his views. For more on John Dewey and his associates read this article on The Socialist Vision and Global Connections of the NEA.


Reference List

Price, D. B. (2012). John Dewey is a fraud. American Thinker. Retrieved [07/05/16] from <http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2012/10/john_dewey_is_a_fraud.html>.

Tooley, H. T. (2009). Some costs of the great war: nationalizing private life. Alabama: The Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved [07/05/16] from <https://mises.org/library/some-costs-great-war-nationalizing-private-life>.

DeArnmond, F. (2009). Democracy in the schoolroom. Alabama: The Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved [07/05/16] from <https://mises.org/library/democracy-schoolroom>. 

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Copyright © 2016 Zoë-Marie Beesley

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