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ERIC Number: ED156560
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Mar
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Governmental Surveillance of Three Progressive Educators.
Nelson, Murry R.; Singleton, H. Wells
Governmental interference with academic freedom is illustrated by F.B.I. surveillance of and unauthorized distribution of information about progressive educators John Dewey, George Counts, and Harold Rugg. These three educators attracted the attention of governmental agencies and special interest groups during the 1930s and 1940s because they advocated educational reform and participated in liberal movements such as the ACLU and the NAACP. All three were suspected of communist leanings because they departed from traditional educational approaches and urged students and community members to become actively involved in social reconstruction. In their educational writings and in their courses at Columbia University and the University of Chicago, these educators introduced students to controversial issues such as the depression, labor-management relations, the distribution of wealth, and lifestyles in socialist countries. By 1941, the F.B.I. had gathered nearly 400 pages of information on the three progressive educators in the form of reports by private and governmental agencies, letters, articles, and clippings. The F.B.I. method of accumulating data was to collect any type of readily available information about the men, put the information in a file, and add to the file in a random manner from time to time. This investigative process, apparently without clear objective, made use of much false, partially true, and unsubstantiated information. The conclusion is that the F.B.I. investigations into the activities and writings of Dewey, Rugg, and Counts were capricious, unmethodical, unconfidential, and deleterious to freedom of speech. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A