Monday, July 14, 2008

The present moment in progressive education

Paul Goodman, 1964:

The program of progressive education always anticipates the crucial social problems that everybody will be concerned with a generation later, when it is too late for the paradisal solutions of progressive educators. This is the nature of the case. Essentially, progressive education is nothing but the attempt to naturalize, to humanize, each new social and technical development that is making traditional education irrelevant. It is not a reform of education, but a reconstruction in terms of the new era. If society would once adopt this reconstruction, we could at last catch up with ourselves and grow naturally into the future. But equally in the nature of the case, society rejects, half-accepts, bastardizes the necessary changes; and so we are continually stuck with "unfinished revolutions," as I called them in Growing up Absurd. Then occur the vast social problems that could have been avoided--that indeed the older progressive education had specifically addressed--but it is too late. And progressive educators stoically ask, What is the case now?

From Compulsory Mis-education, p 49.

1 comment:

Jerry P. said...

...and the absurdity continues into the era of extreme accountability, AYP, NCLB, standardized testing, student disengagement, boredom, drills, high dropout rates, irrelevance, and all of it driven by a system that realy has little or nothing to do with education.