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Progressivism, UNESCO, and compulsory education

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Abstract:

In Progressive Education across the Continents, Hermann Röhrs and Volker Lenhart follow the definition of progressive education as a movement to reform national, compulsory school systems. They contend that progressive education did not take place in developing countries until the end of the Second World War because those countries lacked established school systems.
The goal of this paper is to show that progressive education was more than a reaction against government schools. Two examples show that the changes were more complicated than Röhrs and Lenhart suggested.
The first example is the education of Native Americans in the United States. Although U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall defined Indian tribes as sovereign entities, legislation encouraged Native Americans to assimilate into the wider society. In 1930, officials in the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs introduced progressive educational practices to reinforce traditional tribal cultures. The second example comes from the New Education Fellowship that sought progressive models to serve Native Africans from 1930 until World War II. The people who worked on these efforts carried their ideas into UNESCO when it began its program of fundamental education in 1947. Progressive education fell into disrepute during the 1950s. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs sought to terminate reservation schools and to prepare Native American children to enter mainstream society. At the same time, UNESCO turned away from the progressive education practices of community development and sought to encourage newly independent countries to institute Western style compulsory elementary schools.
This paper follows the tradition of historical writing using secondary sources such as institutional histories, primary sources such as reports from the various agencies involved, and the autobiographical writings of individuals.
The conclusion is that progressive educational models began in developing countries before World War II; however, national systems of compulsory education replaced them.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p485270_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Watras, Joseph. "Progressivism, UNESCO, and compulsory education" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p485270_index.html>

APA Citation:

Watras, J. , 2011-05-01 "Progressivism, UNESCO, and compulsory education" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p485270_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In Progressive Education across the Continents, Hermann Röhrs and Volker Lenhart follow the definition of progressive education as a movement to reform national, compulsory school systems. They contend that progressive education did not take place in developing countries until the end of the Second World War because those countries lacked established school systems.
The goal of this paper is to show that progressive education was more than a reaction against government schools. Two examples show that the changes were more complicated than Röhrs and Lenhart suggested.
The first example is the education of Native Americans in the United States. Although U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall defined Indian tribes as sovereign entities, legislation encouraged Native Americans to assimilate into the wider society. In 1930, officials in the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs introduced progressive educational practices to reinforce traditional tribal cultures. The second example comes from the New Education Fellowship that sought progressive models to serve Native Africans from 1930 until World War II. The people who worked on these efforts carried their ideas into UNESCO when it began its program of fundamental education in 1947. Progressive education fell into disrepute during the 1950s. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs sought to terminate reservation schools and to prepare Native American children to enter mainstream society. At the same time, UNESCO turned away from the progressive education practices of community development and sought to encourage newly independent countries to institute Western style compulsory elementary schools.
This paper follows the tradition of historical writing using secondary sources such as institutional histories, primary sources such as reports from the various agencies involved, and the autobiographical writings of individuals.
The conclusion is that progressive educational models began in developing countries before World War II; however, national systems of compulsory education replaced them.


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