Getting It Wrong From The Beginning Essay
Jane Doe University Egan, K. (2002). Getting it wrong from the beginning: Our progressivist inheritance from Herbert Spencer, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
The 21st century is a time of constant social change, increasing global communication and interconnectivity, demographic shifts in populations as well as global economic shifts in power. Although the world is changing rapidly, educational philosophies maintain strong foundations in progressive perspectives offered a century ago. The progressivist theories of Herbert Spencer, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget on learning and development continue to dominate in education today. They are so entrenched in curriculum and design that they are not seen as attached to anyone person but accepted as common practice. Egan’s book, Getting it Wrong from the Beginning, challenges us to re-examine the accepted progressivist theory of knowledge acquisition as well as the social costs of accepting it as right. Progressivist theory of education can be inherently racist, value-laden, and like lacking in authentic scientific analysis.
Egan begins his book with an overview of the influence, life, and reputation of Herbert Spencer. Spencer introduced theories at a time when public schools were formed and positioned his ideas as scientific hypotheses. Egan begins his perspectives on progressivm by establishing Spencer as the foundation for…