ERIC Number: EJ911563
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 38
William Van Til: The Last Progressive?
Beineke, John A.
American Educational History Journal, v37 n1 p37-54 2010
In 1999, the changing goals of American schools were explored in "Education Week" through the events, achievements, and personalities that had formed United States education in the 20th century. First a series of articles, the collection was later published in book form as "Lessons of a Century: A Nation's Schools Come of Age." The chapter titled "The Great Debate" encompassed the century-long battle between progressive and essentialist educational thought. One man who spanned this century of the "Great Debate" was William Van Til (1911-2006.) Van Til can be seen as the "last progressive" educator to comprehensively defend the accepted and prevailing beliefs of progressive school philosophy of the first half of the 20th century. The proposition that Van Til was the "last progressive" will be explored in this article. First, though, an acceptable definition of progressive education, or at least one with a reasonable consensus, must be determined. Next a review will be undertaken of Van Til's progressive educational bona fides as leader and thinker. Finally, the connection between his departure from the educational scene and the status of current progressive education thought and practice will be examined.
Descriptors: Educational Philosophy, Goal Orientation, Educational History, Biographies, Progressive Education, Social Justice, Leaders, Definitions
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States