chapter  5
24 Pages

Toward a new Progressive Educational Movement

WithWalter Feinberg

John Dewey's educational philosophy both drew on an imaginary of trust, hope and optimism and contributed to it. His goal was to promote the qualities of mind and the character traits required by both scientific inquiry and a democratic society. Dewey's understanding of progressive education and his faith that schools could produce the requisite habits of mind, character, intellect and morality that this creed required was also part of this imaginary. He was an advocate of educational diversity long before the word entered the politically correct lexicon. He argued that individual and social growth depended on novelty, on the extension of existing interests and on the development of new ones. He believed that the largest impediment to diverse educational experiences was the rigid class lines that prevented "the adequate interplay of experience". He saw progressive schooling to be a prerequisite for individual growth and social harmony and a democratic America.