Crusade for Democracy

Progressive Education at the Crossroads

By Daniel Tanner

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series, The Philosophy of Education
Paperback : 9780791405451, 152 pages, April 2002
Hardcover : 9780791405444, 152 pages, March 1991

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Table of contents




I. On the Brink of Disaster

II. The Formative Meetings

III. Origins and Connections

IV. The Surviving Founders

V. Recollections and Retrospections

VI. The Letters

VII. This Ordeal of Democracy

VIII. The John Dewey Society and The Social Frontier

IX. The John Dewey Society and the Progressive Education Association

X. The Problem of Purpose in the Postwas Period

XI. New Directions

XII. Seeking to Save Progressive Education

XIII. The Yearbooks

XIV. The Last of the Yearbooks and the Beginning of the Lecture Series



Founding Memebers of the John Dewey Society
Yearbooks of the John Dewey Society
Speakers at Sessions with the John Dewey Society with the Annual Meeting of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
The John Dewey Lectures
A Society for the Study of Education in its Social Relations



Name Index

Subject Index


This book tells the fascinating story of the Progressive Education movement of the 1930s and 1940s, which remains the most original and powerful intellectual force ever generated within professional education in this country. At the core of the story is the founding and early activities of the John Dewey Society for the Study of Education and Culture. In this compelling narrative, Daniel Tanner details, through close examination of the scholarly literature and heretofore unexamined archival materials, the colorful personalities and powerful philosophies of this group of educators who worked from the conviction that the struggle and growth of American democracy could not be conducted apart from the public schools.

Tanner shows that the issues which gave birth to the John Dewey Society and to which the Society directed its attention in the early years are perennial ones — the appropriate relationship between school and society, the purpose of education in a democratic society, social inequality, textbook censorship, academic freedom, and so on. This history illuminates our present as well as our past.

Daniel Tanner is Professor of Education, Rutgers University.


"I learned much from this book, and I think that others will as well. I was especially intrigued by the close examination Tanner gave to the resolution of differences of opinion about the origins of the founding group, his observations about the difference between the attitude of the Ohio group and the New York group with respect to Counts' book, Dare the School. . . , the behind the scenes role of the John Dewey Society during the McCarthy era, and the letters from Cottrell, Hook, and Tyler. " — Arthur Brown, Wayne State University