John Dewey and the Chaos of Contemporary American Education

Excerpt:  The declining student performance in America’s public schools is no accident. As is the pervasive bullying by peers and repression by teachers of the brightest, best-mannered, and most accomplished students encounter in public schools today. I believe both are the direct result of the educational philosophy promulgated by John Dewey (1859-1952), the originator of “Progressive” education and a self-proclaimed advocate of collectivism and opponent of teaching objective knowledge in the schools. Dewey’s ideas have largely shaped the way in which today’s American public education system works – or, more accurately, does not work. To call John Dewey a socialist is no exaggeration, it is the truth. Dewey read and greatly admired Edward Bellamy’s 1887 novel, Looking Backward, which described an egalitarian utopia in which private property was abolished and the capitalist system was a relic of the past. In the 1920s, Dewey wrote extensively in praise of the Soviet education system – so much so that he was invited to visit the Soviet Union in 1928 and observe schools in the USSR. He based many of his recommendations for American education on the Soviet model.

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