John Dewey And The Progressive Era

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The Progressive Era was a time in the United States where everything was about change. The Progressive Era took place starting in the 1890’s and ending in the 1920’s. The people of the Progressive Era, the Progressives, wanted the United States to change for the better. There were major economic and social problems that needed to be fixed. One of the biggest changes in the Progressive Era was the education reform. Before the Progressive Era began about in 1890, the school systems were a lot different. Back in the day education was only provided until a child was capable to function. This meant that students only had to know the bare minimum to get by. Students would only attend school for an average of 5 years total. The school year …show more content…
John Dewey’s main influence was in education and social reform. He believed that learning should be hands on and he was highly against teachers lecturing their students all day every day. He wanted students to get more involved with learning and make education more child-centered. John Dewey’s thoughts of education became his own philosophy of education. Dewey decided to write his own book on his philosophy which is called, Democracy and Education. John Dewey wrote his book in 1916, which was towards the end of the Progressive Era. John Dewey wanted everyone to remember his philosophy and understand where he was coming from with the changes in education. In his book, John Dewey starts off with explaining how education is a necessity of life. He basically breaks down what education is, how he views education, and what he wants education to be like. John Dewey did not create his philosophy alone. He created his philosophy by expanding and criticizing the philosophies of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Plato. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a French philosopher from the 18th century and Plato was a philosopher in classical Greece around 350 B.C. John Dewey went off of both of their philosophies and created his …show more content…
All of the progressives and education reformers pushed for education programs to begin making the change towards child-centered learning. When people refer to child-centered learning, there are many different meanings behind the learning system. Education was starting to become focused on the way students wanted to learn in the classroom. Education was focusing on students learning by doing. The progressive education system was creating students to problem solve instead of the teacher telling them what the solution was. Researchers have said the way students learn is important because it affects the way a person’s mind develops. There was new research in psychology and in sciences to change the way classrooms would practice education material. Education was veering away from textbook learning and moving towards group activities. For example, before the progressive era, students would memorize multiplication facts by repeating them with the class. When progressive education hit in, students would start to actually understand multiplication facts and work in small groups. Progressives and education reformers began to say that progressive education made students actually understand the class material instead of memorizing everything. A lot of progressives refer to progressive education as “less teacher and more student.” The education approach was democratic and began accepting the interests of an

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