Progressive Education: A Critical Introduction

A&C Black
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How and why we should educate children has always been a central concern for governments around the world, and there have long been those who have opposed orthodoxy, challenged perception and called for a radicalization of youth. Progressive Education draws together Continental Romantics, Utopian dreamers, radical feminists, pioneering psychologists and social agitators to explore the history of the progressive education movement.

Beginning with Jean Jacques Rousseau's seminal treatise Emile and closing with the Critical Pedagogy movement, this book draws on the latest scholarship to cover the key thinkers, movements and areas where schooling has been more than just a didactic pupil-teacher relationship. Blending narrative flair with thematic detail, this important work seeks to chart ideas which, whether accepted or not, continue to challenge and shape our understanding of education today.
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About the author

John Howlett is Lecturer in Education in the School of Public Policy and Professional Practice at the University of Keele, UK.
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Additional Information

Publisher
A&C Black
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Published on
Sep 26, 2013
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Pages
312
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ISBN
9781441110510
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Aims & Objectives
Education / History
Education / Philosophy, Theory & Social Aspects
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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From one of the foremost authorities on education in the United States, former U.S. assistant secretary of education, “whistle-blower extraordinaire” (The Wall Street Journal), author of the best-selling The Death and Life of the Great American School System (“Important and riveting”—Library Journal), The Language Police (“Impassioned . . . Fiercely argued . . . Every bit as alarming as it is illuminating”—The New York Times), and other notable books on education history and policy—an incisive, comprehensive look at today’s American school system that argues against those who claim it is broken and beyond repair; an impassioned but reasoned call to stop the privatization movement that is draining students and funding from our public schools.
​In Reign of Error, Diane Ravitch argues that the crisis in American education is not a crisis of academic achievement but a concerted effort to destroy public schools in this country. She makes clear that, contrary to the claims being made, public school test scores and graduation rates are the highest they’ve ever been, and dropout rates are at their lowest point.

​She argues that federal programs such as George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and Barack Obama’s Race to the Top set unreasonable targets for American students, punish schools, and result in teachers being fired if their students underperform, unfairly branding those educators as failures. She warns that major foundations, individual billionaires, and Wall Street hedge fund managers are encouraging the privatization of public education, some for idealistic reasons, others for profit. Many who work with equity funds are eyeing public education as an emerging market for investors.
​Reign of Error begins where The Death and Life of the Great American School System left off, providing a deeper argument against privatization and for public education, and in a chapter-by-chapter breakdown, putting forth a plan for what can be done to preserve and improve it. She makes clear what is right about U.S. education, how policy makers are failing to address the root causes of educational failure, and how we can fix it.

​For Ravitch, public school education is about knowledge, about learning, about developing character, and about creating citizens for our society. It’s about helping to inspire independent thinkers, not just honing job skills or preparing people for college. Public school education is essential to our democracy, and its aim, since the founding of this country, has been to educate citizens who will help carry democracy into the future.
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