Crusade for Democracy, Revised Edition

Progressive Education at the Crossroads

By Daniel Tanner

Subjects: Philosophy Of Education, Social Movements, Education Policy And Leadership
Paperback : 9781438456461, 190 pages, May 2015
Hardcover : 9781438456454, 190 pages, May 2015

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Preface to the Revised Edition
Foreword to the First Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Introduction to the First Edition
I. On the Brink of Disaster
II. The Formative Meetings
III. Origins and Connections
IV. The Last of the 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 Postwar 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
XV. Perspectives and Prospects
Founding Members of the John Dewey Society
Yearbooks of the John Dewey Society
The John Dewey Memorial ASCD Lectures (Association for Supervision and Curricular Development)
The John Dewey Lectures
Presidents of the John Dewey Society
A Society for the Study of Education in its Social Relationships
About the Author
Name Index
Subject Index

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.