History of Modern and Progressive Education

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 that emphasized a differentiated curriculum which divided students according to their likely future occupations. The 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). The seminar 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 deflect its attacks and seek to advance Christian education.

Jason Edwards

Jason R. Edwards (2015) is an associate professor of history at Grove City College. He serves as a fellow with The Center for Vision & Values as well as a Lehrman Scholar and Salvatori Fellow for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Edwards co-authored the book Ask the Professor: What Freshmen Need to Know 2.0 (TDH Communications, 2012) and has published writings in a variety of newspapers and journals including the Washington Times, University Bookman, and Touchstone. Edwards received a B.A. in history from Asbury College, his M.A. in history from the University of Kentucky, and his Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of education from the University of Kentucky.

How We Lost: History of Progressive Education and How We Can Win Again

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 Perrin

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.

The Difference Between Classical & Progressive Education – Are You Inadvertently Teaching Progressively?

The 20th century saw the triumph of progressive theories of education. Within the world created by that triumph, classical education has begun to make a comeback. But do we risk watering down our efforts by not knowing the ideas we are embodying in our classrooms and in our teaching?

Andrew Kern

Andrew Kern is the Founder and President of CiRCE Institute. He has also helped found Providence Academy, Ambrose School, Great Ideas Academy and Regents Schools of the Carolinas. Andrew is the co-author of Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America, The Lost Tools of Writing and The CiRCE Guide to Reading. Andrew is also a consultant and founded the CiRCE apprenticeship.