Progressive Era

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1)The Progressive Era, which followed the Common School era, is another significant time period in the history of American education. According to Urban, what economic, social and political factors precipitated and shaped this Progressive era of educational reform? One of the key factors during the U.S.’s Progressive era that shaped this era of educational reform was the economic and political corruption occurring in that time. As the rise of the industrial revolution brought about huge monopolies and trusts, financial corruption spread to the government. As the textbook states, “Politicians at all levels of government succumbed to the financial favors that the wealthy could bestow on them in return for a contract or a favorable decision regarding…show more content…
Overall, they believed, as Urban put it, “that school reform could be used to achieve ⟮social⟯ justice” (Urban 197). Much of their beliefs stemmed from the ideas of philosopher John Dewey. Dewey studied psychology and philosophy, particularly regarding education. He developed laboratory school settings in Chicago for teachers to train and practice working with children. Through Dewey and his students’ discoveries, he concluded that “school itself was a social institution, a part of society…. learning was a natural by-product of concrete social activities (Urban 198). Essentially, they gained much knowledge about child development from their experiences, and how they could model schools to encourage children’s developmental growth. The goal, of course, was to better adjust them to life in society, as in this format, “learning would lose the abstract quality that permeated so much of the academic study that went on in schools” (Urban 198). They differed from the administrative progressives, who were more focused on organizing the structures and educating the teachers and administrators. They promoted the traditional education style that had been in place, “…the traditional teacher-dominated, subject-centered curriculum” (Urban 197). Urban tells us that despite some reforms made by the pedagogical progressives, they overall were unable to break American education completely away from the rigid system already in place. The differences between these two groups of educational progressives reflects the political nature of the Progressive Era. The pedagogical progressives tried to make more liberal reforms to improve the democratic aspect of society. However, like many other progressive groups before them, they failed to completely change how the capitalistic, bureaucratic ways of American society at the
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