Tells the fascinating story of the Progressive Education movement of the 1930s and 1940s.
Attacks on public schools and efforts to impose nationalizing "reforms" are no less threatening today than they were during the era of progressive education under the conditions that gave rise to the John Dewey Society. Crusade for Democracy, Second Edition, tells the fascinating story of the Progressive Education movement of the 1930s and 1940s, whose core is the founding and early activities of the John Dewey Society for the Study of Education and Culture. In a 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. The issues to which the Society directed its attention are, he argues, perennial ones—the appropriate relationship between school and society, the purpose of education in a democracy, social inequality, textbook censorship, academic freedom, and so on. In this new edition, Tanner points to such recent phenomena as charter schools, testing mandates, and narrowed "core standards" curricula as raising the question of whether the John Dewey Society is losing its way, becoming just another philosophical society, or whether it will reclaim its legacy by advancing the democratic prospect for school and society.
Daniel Tanner is Professor Emeritus of the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University and the author of several books, including (with Laurel Tanner) Curriculum Development: Theory into Practice, Fourth Edition.