Americans Develop Original Theory.
Before the second decade of the twentieth century, American educators looked mainly to Europe for the theories to support their concepts of education. Educational philosopher Horace Mann had warned that industrial capitalism after the Civil War threatened educational opportunity for many Americans, but most educators before 1910 solidly arrayed themselves with the forces of conservatism and resisted radical reform. After 1910, however, with a rap-idly changing economy and wave after wave of immigration, the American public increasingly found traditional European approaches to education a poor fit. What was needed in this country, many reformers argued, was a form of education that prepared the masses and their children to win a portion of the nation's wealth and mount the socio-economic ladder as high as possible. The calls for reform came from diverse voices and places; but it took John Dewey, psychologist and philosopher, to synthesize the ideas of various reform movements and give them cogent, dynamic expression.
Democracy and Education.
One of the most significant educational events of the era was the publication in 1916 of John Dewey's "epoch-making" volume Democracy and Education. Hailed by one scholar as "the most important treatise since Plato's Republic, the work presented...
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