This outsized influence of the university on K–12 schools occurs not without precedent. Once before, our nation’s dominant philosophy of education universally altered. Prior to the 20th century, American education was almost universally classical in nature — great books, grammar and rhetoric, direct teacher guidance, a healthy patriotism. However, the establishment of teacher colleges began to change that. Between 1910 and 1930, 88 normal schools — local institutions to train teachers — associated with universities and became teacher colleges.
At the most influential of these, Columbia’s Teachers College, John Dewey and William Kilpatrick trained 35,000 students and wrote popular essays that influenced countless more. With such an influence, the progressive pedagogy of Dewey and Kilpatrick — which rejects liberal notions of knowledge worth knowing and direct teacher guidance to instead center a student’s personal interests and exploration — supplanted classical education in American schools. The theory’s association with colleges of education legitimated progressive education and so flooded American schools with proclamations of “best practices” and “expertise.” Read more»
Daniel Buck | “How Public Schools Went Woke—and What to Do about It” | March 5, 2022
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