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ERIC Number: EJ1049910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0002-8312
The Savage Origins of Child-Centered Pedagogy, 1871-1913
Fallace, Thomas
American Educational Research Journal, v52 n1 p73-103 Feb 2015
Child-centered pedagogy is at the ideological core of progressive education. The simple idea that the child rather than the teacher or textbook should be the major focus of the classroom is, perhaps, the single most enduring educational idea of the era. In this historical study, the author argues that child-centered education emerged directly from the theory of recapitulation, the idea that the development of the White child retraced the history of the human race. The theory of recapitulation was pervasive in the fields of anthropology, sociology, and psychology at the turn of the 20th century, and so early progressive educators uncritically adopted the basic tenets of the theory, which served as a major rationale for child-centered instruction. The theory was inherently ethnocentric and racist because it pointed to the West as the developmental endpoint of history, thereby depicting people of color as ontologically less developed than their White counterparts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A