Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book review- Bending the Twig: The Revolution in Education and Its Effect on Our Children

'Tis education forms the common mind
Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined
- Alexander Pope

Progressive education.... what is it? Where does it come from? Is America the only place it's ever been tried?

I've made my own attempts to dig into progressive education, but I can only use the internet for my queries. This book titled "Bending the twig; the revolution in education and its effect on our children" is a genuine inquiry based on thoughtful research into the topic using sources I'd probably never have access to. The review for this book comes from a website titled, which has a plethora of magazines spanning decades that it has catalogged.

Starting here is the gateway to the magazine article, this (pdf direct download) is the first page of the review(page 62), I can't see a way to get a direct download to page 63, but its easy to get just click the blue 'next page' button.

I have kept a copy of these just in case.

The thing that stands out to me more than anything from the review(and thus, the book) is the fact that progressive education was tried in Russia, and they got rid of it real quick when they started seeing the results of it. This is a small excerpt from the book:

Few Americans realize that Progressive Education was given a thorough tryout in Soviet Russia. When the Bolsheviks under Lenin destroyed the Kerensky government in November, 1917, they believed that a similar revolution was imminent in other countries and they sought to expedite it by creating in Russia a Communist model for the world. They proceeded to inaugurate a series of drastic reforms and changes in the traditional life of the Russian people. A veritable orgy of change followed in all segments of their society from education to marriage. Many of these "reforms" were not only unnecessary but proved to be harmful to the Communist cause.

Anything new or extreme was tried, provided it was a break with the traditional. The Communist leaders had heard of the Progressive Education system in America and in 1918 they imported its program almost intact.*

* "The 'new' schools in Russia were organized and conducted after the model laid out by John Dewey in Chicago many years earlier. . . . Indoctrination in the practice of Communism was included as direct instruction." Dr. John Almack, San Francisco Examiner, October 12, 1942.

The review was done by Frank B. Keith, of The Freeman.'s page appears to be the only place it can be found.

1 comment:

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