This seminar will trace the history of progressive education, beginning in 1890s with the emergence of several teacher’s colleges that criticized classical learning and advocated a progressive approach, emphasized a differentiated curriculum which divided students according to their likely future occupations. This seminar will trace the leading thinkers of progressive education from Herbert Spencer (Social Darwinism) to G. Stanley Hall (Child-centered education) to David Snedden (social efficiency, differentiated curriculum) to John Dewey (democratized education, experiential learning) to Edward L. Thorndike (mental testing) to Edward A. Ross (social efficiency, vocational education). It will also trace those who sought to defend the classical curriculum and pedagogy and examine their failures and successes. Finally, the seminar will ask what benefits classical educators can derive from progressive education even as we deflects its attacks and seek to advance classical and Christian education.
Christopher is the CEO and Publisher at Classical Academic Press, and a national leader, author and speaker for the renewal of classical education. He serves as a consultant to classical Christian schools, classical charter schools, schools converting to the classical model and homeschool co-ops. He is the Director of the Alcuin Fellowship, former Vice-Chair of the Society for Classical Learning and previously served as a classical school head for 10 years.