Education: When the Dare's on to Build a New Social Order

"Progressive Education” came to my school when I was a student at Halsey Junior High School in the 1940s (P.S. 85, Brooklyn, N.Y,).  Principal Stella Sweeting was thrilled as a little girl getting a doll house for Christmas, but the rest of us, teachers included, thought this “experiment” in schooling was silly.  Oh, it was fun to cut classes and paint murals in the hallways – the brainstorm of class buddy Bob and I that, to our surprise, was approved. Such “official cheating” didn’t faze those with A’s and B’s in their subjects – we’d catch up later (in high school maybe?) – but what of the students who might stumble from such sliding and find it difficult to overcome the challenges ahead?  While this loosening of educational standards at Halsey was, in a word, pleasant, most of my teachers took a dim view of a theory of education that not only ditched authority and tradition but dismissed...(Read Full Article)

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