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Design by
Lisa Dempsey

 

The History of Education Continues......

The History of Education Continues......

Progressive Era (1920-1945)

Module 2.6

 

The progressive movement profoundly influenced education in the United States from the end of World War I to the end of World War II.

Progressive education

  • broadened the school program to include health concerns, family and community life issues
  • a concern for vocational education
  • applied new research in psychology and the social sciences to classroom practices
  • emphasized a more democratic educational approach, accepting the interests and needs of an increasingly diverse student body
  • child's interest and practical needs should determine the focus of schooling
  • teachers functioned as guides rather than taskmasters

John Dewey

John Dewey (1859-1952) was closely associated with the progressive movement. He graduated from the University of Vermont when he was twenty. He earned a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University. He served as head of the departments of philosophy, psychology, and pedagogy at the University of Chicago from 1894-1904. He was a professor of philosophy at Columbia University from 1904-1930. Many of his writings such as The School and Society (1900), and The Child and the Curriculum (1902), had a strong impact on U.S. schools. Dewey and his wife Alice established his famous Laboratory School for testing progressive principles in the classroom in 1896, at the University of Chicago. In the 1920's and 1930's the progressive movement became widely known, and soon spread to suburban and city public schools across the country.

The progressive movement was also criticized. Some viewed it as atheistic, un-American, as students were allowed to explore and question, and traditional values were not being taught. Some people even felt that the progressive movement was not academically sound....

1950s

In 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, named Sputnik. U.S. leaders proclaimed that the progressive educational philosophy was inadequate, and as a result our children lagged behind the world in both science and mathematics. The federal government felt that educational reform was necessary and as a result the National Defense Education Act (NDEA)of 1958 was created. This act funded:

  • teacher training programs
  • curriculum development
  • loans and scholarships for college students that allowed them to major in subjects important to national defense (including teaching)
  • sponsored research in science and math (out of this came new math and science programs)
  • schools were given funds for new equipment

Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)

  • The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) filed a suit on behalf of a Kansas family.
  • The United States Supreme Court rejected the "separate but equal" doctrine that had been used since 1850, as justification of keeping African Americans from attending white schools.
  • The beginning of desegregation
  • Desegregation did not happen right away

1960s

  • desegregation continues
  • racial conflict (as both black and white students encounter the reality of racism)
  • Kennedy administration (administration's spirit of high hopes)
  • classrooms were places of pedagogical experimentation
  • team teaching
  • flexible scheduling

Both the Kennedy and Johnson administration poured massive amounts of money into a War on Poverty.

  • Breakfast and lunch programs were created
  • Head Start
  • Job Corps (appropriate to disadvantage poor children)
  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (allocated funds to schools on the basis of the number of poor children)

1970s

  • drop in enrollment
  • low test scores
  • calls for "back to the basics" by parents.
  • height of the Vietnam conflict
  • financial difficulties confronted schools
  • lack of support from taxpayers
  • demand for teacher accountability
  • steady rise in school crime, drugs, and violence

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act (1975)

"no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

 

The Education for All Handicapped Children Act ( referred to as the mainstreaming law) guarantees that children with special needs will receive a free appropriate education.

 

1980

  • 1983 publication A Nation at Risk (declared US education a failure)
  • a great national debate
  • proposals for curriculum reform
  • small learning communities
  • develop ways to enhance student self-esteem

1990s

Teachers took leadership roles in:

  • school restructuring
  • school governance
  • curriculum change

Vocabulary

Progressive movement-a movement during the 1920s and 1930s to create schools that emphasized democracy, children's interests and needs, and closer connections between schools and community.

National Defense Education Act-a 1958 federally sponsored program to promote research and innovation in science, mathematics, modern foreign languages and guidance.

Desegregation- the process of eliminating schooling practices based on the separation of racial groups.

Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka-a 1954 landmark court case rejecting the "separate but equal" doctrine used to prevent African Americans from attending schools with whites.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act-part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society Program, this act allocated federal funds on the basis of the number of poor children in school districts.

Back to Basics- a movement begun in the mid-1970s to establish the "basic skills" of reading, writing, speaking, and computation as the core of the school curriculum.

Accountability-the practice of holding teachers responsible for adhering to high professional and moral standards and creating effective learning environments for all students.

Title IX- a provision of the 1972 Education Amendments Act prohibiting sex discrimination in educational programs.

Education for all handicapped Children Act-a 1975 federal act that guarantees a free and appropriate education to all handicap children.

Mainstreaming-the policy and process of intergrating disabled or otherwise emotional learners into regular classrooms with nonexceptional students.

 

Activity 2.7 (please label your assignment correctly)

Have Attitudes Toward Teaching Changed?

This survey was given to 500 seniors in 1934! First estimate the percentage of students in 1934 who agreed with each item, and then indicate with an"x" whether you agree or disagree with the statement. (for correct percentages, see Ms. Brady)

 

1934

% agree

My view

Agree

My view

Disagree

1. It requires as much ability to be a worthwhile teacher as it does to be a worthwhile lawyer or physician.

2. Generally speaking, I like teachers and I am grateful for what they have done for me.

3. I think the teaching profession is the most undesirable of all professions.

4. After all, teachers are only human and they deserve much credit for the work they are doing.

5.I think the teaching profession is a very good one to enter even though I am not particularly interested in it.

6. The personnel of the teaching profession is gradually improving.

7. I believe school teachers are a hundred years behind the times and they cannot make the schools what they should be today.

8. Teaching is as good a profession as any other.

9. I would not choose teaching as my life's work because I think the salaries are not commensurate with the education required.

10. There is little chance of advancement in the teaching profession.

 

 

 

 

1_______

 

2_______

 

3_______

 

4_______

5_______

 

6_______

7_______

 

8_______

9_______

10________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1_______

 

2_______

 

3_______

 

4_______

5_______

 

6_______

7_______

 

8_______

9_______

10________

 

 

 

1_______

 

2_______

 

3_______

 

4_______

5_______

 

6_______

7_______

 

8_______

9_______

10________

 

       

Answer the following questions

1. What differences do you note?

2. Which survey items address issues that are still important today? How?

2.7 Activity 2

1. Are students today affected by racism? How?

 

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