Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Barbara S. Stengel
When John Dewey wrote My Pedagogic Creed in 1896, he said, “I believe that education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform.” This belief is clearly one—and perhaps the only—unifying thread of progressive education then and now. This is in part because of the substance of the theories and recommendations offered by the variety of educators who claim the progressive mantle and in part because the term itself has historical and philosophical referents, and in all cases, the referents have political dimensions. In a narrower sense, “progressive education” is used to invoke a palette of educational reform efforts in a particular chronological period from 1890 through 1920, or 1940, or even 1957. The term progressive education refers to any effort to reconstruct taken-for-granted educational practice for social purposes, but what links all the different positions is not a particular educational worldview, nor is it the simplistic notion The ...