Middle-class progressives in the early 20th Century wanted to transform a corrupt and chaotic industrial America into an "authentic" democracy. But they were led astray by their privilege. Focused on enhancing the voices of individuals, generations of progressives remained blind to the rich culture of "democratic solidarity" infusing labor unions and organizing in poor communities. This book traces the problematic evolution of progressive democracy in America, focusing on schools as a key site of progressive practice. At the same time, it examines alternative strategies for developing more empowering approaches to democratic education and collective action.
"Anyone interested in the history of educational reform and the link between progressive education and other social movements should read this book. In his analysis of progressive education Schutz combines a philosopher's sensitivity for contradictions with a historian's understanding of the way these contradictions worked out in the real world. The result is a highly readable, theoretically penetrating treatment of the possibilities and limitations of Dewey's educational philosophy and the progressive education movement. Schutz brings his analysis up to date, showing how progressive education's limitations as a reform movement were addressed in practice by the strategies of community organizers and Civil Rights leaders."--Walter Feinberg, Charles Hardie Professor, Emeritus of Educational Philosophy, The University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana
"This is an important and much needed addition to the existing literature on Dewey and Progressivism and the future/fate of Progressivism in the new millennium. The author's interdisciplinary approach is highly effective and one of the book's many strong points. Indeed, it is especially appropriate in discussing Dewey (who wrote very broadly and was widely read) and the first part of the twentieth century."--David Granger, Professor of Education, SUNY-Geneseo
"The link Schutz makes from little known schools of early Progressivism to Sixties alternative education is fascinating. He is excellent at revealing the forbears of what is seen as new and radical."--Heidi Swarts, Assistant Professor of Politics and International Studies, Rutgers University-Newark
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
New Book: Social Class, Social Action, and Education: The Failure of Progressive Democracy
Shameless self-plug. My first book just came out. You can read the introduction here. Find it here.