One month ago, I published a historical critique of progressive education entitled Progressively Worse. It has two essential arguments. Firstly, from the 1960s onwards progressive education became a powerful orthodoxy within the state education system. Secondly, it has failed to improve the quality of education in our schools.
Arguments from personal experience are common in education debates. At the risk of stating the obvious, nearly everyone has been to school so nearly everyone has a traumatic/inadequate/mediocre/life-affirming experience to call upon. Such arguments have emotional resonance in spades, but little actual authority.
Some responses to my book – especially on twitter – tried to discredit the book with personal accounts. The critic was either a teacher during the…
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