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ERIC Number: EJ1144273
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0584
Social Reconstructionism or Child-Centered Progressivism? Difficulties Defining Progressive Education from the PEA's 1939 Documentary Film, School
Kridel, Craig
American Educational History Journal, v40 n2 p279-295 2013
In "The Transformation of the School", Lawrence Cremin warned against formulating any capsule definition of progressive education: "None exists, and none ever will; for throughout its history progressive education meant different things to different people, and these differences were only compounded by the remarkable diversity of American Education" (Cremin 1961, x). In fact, at the 1938 annual Progressive Education Association (PEA) meeting, a committee reported on its efforts to define the term and, while a statement was produced, nearly the entire group objected, explaining that progressive education was not a definition but "a spirit" (Alberty 1938). This article considers one crucial issue pertaining to how progressive education is conceived which stems from whether the term represents a distinctive ideology or whether the definition arises from historical fiat; i.e., whether progressive educators are defined by a set of beliefs, or whether progressives are defined as those educators who lived through the Progressive Era. The article examines a 1939 documentary entitled "School" the first professional sound-and dialogue documentary movie ever made on 16 millimeter film and shows how the film complicates current definitions of progressive education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A