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«Schools of Tomorrow,» Schools of Today

Progressive Education in the 21st Century – Second Edition


Edited By Susan F. Semel, Alan R. Sadovnik and Ryan W. Coughlan

The second edition of «Schools of Tomorrow,» Schools of Today: Progressive Education in the 21 st Century documents a new collection of child-centered progressive schools founded in the first half of the twentieth century and provides histories of some contemporary examples of progressive practices. Part I discusses six progressive schools founded in the first part of the twentieth century (City and Country; Dalton; the Weekday School at Riverside Church; The Laboratory School at the Institute of Child Study; Alabama State Teachers College Laboratory High School; and Highlander), tracing them from their beginnings. Part II examines four more contemporary schools (Central Park East 1; Central Park East Secondary; Learning Community Charter School; and KIPP TEAM Academy), showing how progressive practices gained momentum from the 1960s onward. As a volume in the History of Schools and Schooling series, this book seeks to look to the past for what it can teach us today.
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Progressive schools from both the past and the present hold important lessons.1 In order to elucidate these lessons, this book documents the histories of a collection of schools that have implemented progressive educational practices. The project of chronicling the stories of progressive schools began with John and Evelyn Dewey’s 1915 book, Schools of To-morrow. Semel and Sadovnik continued this work with the 1999 book “Schools of Tomorrow,” Schools of Today: What Happened to Progressive Education. This current publication expands upon the tradition of documenting progressive schooling practices in hopes of providing guidance for those interested in shaping the future of progressive education.

Our approach to this text is similar to that taken by the Deweys in their 1915 book. As John and Evelyn Dewey note in the preface to Schools of To-morrow,

This is not a text book of education, nor yet an exposition of a new method of school teaching, aimed to show the weary teacher or the discontented parent how education should be carried on. We have tried to show what actually happens when schools start out to put into practice, each in its own way, some of the theories that have been pointed to as the soundest and best ever since Plato, to be then laid politely away as precious portions of our “intellectual heritage.”2 ← vii | viii →

When Semel and Sadovnik began work on “Schools of Tomorrow,” Schools of Today: What Happened to Progressive Education in 1988, the...

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