The Influence of Progressive Education on American Schooling

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THE INFLUENCE OF PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION ON AMERICAN SCHOOLING

The Progressive Era was from 1890-1919 when President Theodore Roosevelt became predecessor to President William McKinley whom was assassinated. For decades, it has been a controversial debate on how influential Progressive Education is on American Schooling. The Progressive Movement started because of the development of big businesses and corporations as education became a major topic for reformers due to child labor laws and public schooling became the central focus in the United States. Efforts of this movement were to “regulate big businesses, governmental reform, women’s suffrage, and temperance.” (Hayes 2006, p. 7) I am a follower in the teachings as well as the learning approach this movement depicted; John Dewey, known as the “father of Progressive Education”, “believed that students learn best “by doing” not by being passive listeners and the teacher’s role was to be a facilitator of learning in classrooms where students’ interest helped to provide appropriate developmental learning experience.” (Hayes, 2006, p. i) The development of Progressive Education was mainly due to the rise of Corporate America and many vocational schools developed where children would learn from not just teachers, but business minded people of expertise in specific fields.

The whole reform message appealed to business and political leaders
since it promised to eliminate waste, organize and manage schools more efficiently, to tailor instruction to the needs of employers, to Americanize
the children of immigrants, and to provide students with the skills and
attitudes they would need to perform and accept their future roles in society (Labaree, 2005, p.285)

Teachers’ profession was affected somewhat by this movement because they were sort of stuck in their traditional way of teachings and found it complicated to integrate subject matter into curriculum that was child-centered; “it presented...
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