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Tracing the roots of "progressive education" back to European ideals of totalitarianism
PGA Weblog ^

Posted on 06/09/2012 9:13:46 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica

One of the most dangerous aspects of progressivism is the stranglehold they have upon the educational system. None of the ideas they have are new, some may be modern spins on old ideals, but these ultimately go back a long, long way. John Dewey is very well known as the father of modern education, but Dewey himself cites Mann as the "patron saint of progressive education". This makes Mann an important figure to be readily knowledgable about, as well as the roots of his beliefs.

Horace Mann is to Massachusetts' education what Dewey is to American education, to put it shortly. But tracking down the influences is what I'm going to attempt to do, and in doing so this will take quite some time. Because of the format of a blog, this may come off as convoluted if it's not read all the way through. Here, I copied a small line from TIME which mentions how Mann traveled to Germany and while there, he picked up ideas. What those ideas were, is what's important. I can't read the full article, but I have little doubt that they gloss over the fact that Mann was highly influenced by Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi past that one line.

Wikipedia's page on Social Pedagogy; that is, "Social Education", has a historical evolution from person to person that will probably suffice in the context of a blog posting. (And I would like to note, have you ever noticed how everything with these people is 'social'? Social education, social labour, social regulation, social production, social organization, social justice, social gospel, social rank, social responsibility, and on and on and on)

Pestalozzi, in short, was a follower of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's ideals as expressed in the book "Emile", which is something that the progressives 100 years ago were well aware of. Frank Pierrepont Graves was the educational commissioner for the State of New York for just under 20 years(1921-40), and here is what he wrote regarding this: (page 120)

Pestalozzi as the Successor of Rousseau. - Having outlined the various phases and influences of philanthropic education and surveyed the rise of the common school in America, we may now turn again to the more immediate development of the movements that found their roots in Rousseau. These received their first great growth through Pestalozzi.

As he notes on page 152, Horace Mann was instrumental in the importation of all this:

The most influential propaganda of the Pestalozzian 1 doctrines in general, however, came through the account of the German school methods in the Seventh Annual Report (1843) of Horace Mann, and through the inauguration of the 'Oswego methods' by Dr. Edward A. Sheldon. Mann spoke most enthusiastically of the success of the Prussian-Pestalozzian system of education and hinted at the need of a radical reform along the same lines in America.

Interesting wording - Horace Mann was a "Pestalozzian propagandist". Wheras Dewey is regarded as the father of modern education as a whole, Mann is regarded as "the Father of the Common School". This is a necessary evolution in the usurpation of education for totalitarian purposes. One reformer builds upon the work of a prior reformer. Regarding the book 'Emile', Graves writes this:(page 120 still)

Of course the negative attitude of the Emile was itself accompanied by considerable positive advance in its suggestions for a natural training, but this advice was often unpractical and extreme and its main emphasis was upon the destruction of existing education.

Incredible! So even with this acknowledged, using Emile as a blueprint is still accepted practice. He continues:

Hence the happiest educational results of Rousseau's work came through Pestalozzi, who especially supplemented that reformer's work upon the constructive side. Rousseau had shattered the eighteenth century edifice of despotism, privilege, and hypocrisy, and it remained for Pestalozzi to continue the erection of the more enduring structure he had started to build upon the ruins. Thus Pestalozzi became the first prominent educator to help Rousseau develop his negative and somewhat inconsistent 'naturalism' into a more positive attempt to reform corrupt society by proper education and a new method of teaching. He therein enlarged for education the social and psychological tendencies begun by Rousseau.

Right, so Rousseau is a valid "reformer" which all of us can look upon with shining eyes and open ears. Even with the results of the French Revolution, this goes to show you what kinds of things that progressives see as valid and thought provoking. As I read this, what I'm hearing is Cloward Piven mixed in with this. Destroy the system then you can remake the whole thing, and even if the ideas are widely rejected just implement them anyways. And this nonsense about Rousseau shattering the 18th century mindset, no matter what happy words are spread around, is completely removed from the results of what is actually born of the ideology of Rousseau.(French Revolution, again)

The point being, this is what's infected our school system, at least partly. From Dewey to Mann, who more than any other are the major forces responsible for what we're stuck with today. And considering people like Graves is an important part of the equation. Dewey didn't get elected to every single school board in the nation, that I'm aware of. So who would've been the one implementing Dewey's beliefs and philosophy? People who knew where it came from, and agreed with it.

Dewey himself had a degree of knowledge regarding the lineage of Pestalozzian ideals in the mix here. In an address given by Dewey in 1901 to the National Education Association(NEA), he stated the following:

Horace Mann and the disciples of Pestalozzi did their peculiar missionary work so completely as intellectually to crowd the conservative to the wall. For half a century after their time the ethical emotion, the bulk of exhortation, the current formulae and catchwords, the distinctive principles of theory have been found on the side of progress, of what is known as reform. The supremacy of self-activity, the symmetrical development of all the powers, the priority of character to information, the necessity of putting the real before the symbol, the concrete before the abstract, the necessity of following the order of nature and not the order of human convention - all these ideas, at the outset so revolutionary, have filtered into the pedagogic consciousness and become the commonplace of pedagogic writing and of the gatherings where teachers meet for inspiration and admonition.

Not only is it accepted, but it's viewed as revolutionary, in a good way. Pestalozzian ideals became so prevalent, that there was even a school journal published in Ohio called The Pestalozzian. It gets even worse when you consider who it is that introduced Pestalozzian ideals to Germany - Johann Gottlieb Fichte, one of the acknowledged fathers of socialism.(Hayek, Road to Serfdom, Page 81) In The American journal of education, published by Henry Barnard(who worked with Horace Mann), the introduction of Pestalozzi to the German princes is elaborated as follows: (page 836)

When, in the year of the French domination, the death of all German nationality seemed irremediable; when the dastardly hirelings left their standards in a heap on the field of battle, Fichte saw that for the redemption of Germany a nation must be educated. 'Create a people by national education,' he cried to the princes. The princes appealed to the people, and outward freedom was inaugurated. It was not Blacher, or Scharnhorst, etc., it was Fichte who drove the French out of the land. It was Fichte's deepest conviction that the idea of the perfect State could be gained only by education. He said 'the State cannot be constructed intelligently by artificial measures and out of any material that may be at hand, but the nation must be educated and cultivated up to it. Only the nation which shall first have solved the problem of education to perfected manhood through actual practice will solve that of the perfected State'. The philosopher was the creator of the idea of national education Fichte was the pedagogic statesman.

So what little information I was able to get out of TIME is accurate.

With Fichte having been the one being instrumental in introducing Pestalozzian ideals into Germany, that means that it wasn't purely Pestalozzi's principles that Germany was educating with. This explains Horace Mann's comments with regard to viewing your children as hostages to their cause(I mean, really. Who uses language like this when referring to children, anyways?) as well as his comment "Men are cast-iron; but children are wax." This is not the language of an educator. This is the language of an indoctrinator, which is exactly what Fichte believed should be done.

Ficthe himself was a disciple of Pestalozzi in a way, but also of Rousseau. (1, 2, 3)

Having done some digging into the writings of Fichte, I find his words not all that unlike Mann's, Dewey's, or other statists that I've posted about. He writes this in his "Addresses to the German Nation": (Page 20)

Then, in order to define more clearly the new education which I propose, I should reply that that very recognition of, and reliance upon, free will in the pupil is the first mistake of the old system and the clear confession of its impotence and futility. For, by confessing that after all its most powerful efforts the will still remains free, that is, hesitating undecided between good and evil, it confesses that it neither is able, nor wishes, nor longs to fashion the will and (since the latter is the very root of man) man himself, and that it considers this altogether impossible. On the other hand the new education must consist essentially in this that it completely destroys freedom of will in the soil which it undertakes to cultivate and produces on the contrary strict necessity in the decisions of the will the opposite being impossible.

At least he was honest.

This is what was imported into America. This is at the root of someone who could look at children as "hostages to some cause". From page 21:

If you want to influence him at all, you must do more than merely talk to him; you must fashion him, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than you wish him to will

Does this not sound almost word for word what Woodrow Wilson wrote? And further Fichte wrote: (Page 34)

The system of government must be arranged in such a way that the individual must not only abstain, but will also work and act, for the sake of the community.

This is the same sort of aggressive language that John Dewey used. THIS is the language of an indoctrinator. He makes clear what results he wants from his indoctrination. He talks again and again about 'molding' the right kind of german, who puts community 'in place of that love of self'. This has nothing to do with education benefitting the child being "educated", this is all about statist goals and statist idealism. In "Road to Serfdom", where Hayek points out (page 81) that classical liberalism had been killed by the socialists, this is how they did it - using the groundwork that Fichte(with help from said princes) laid. It's no wonder then that Isaiah Berlin lists Fichte as one of the six architects of the modern authoritarian state.

So if we ask the question this way: What exactly is it that the early educational reformers imported? As is shown, they thought they were following Pestalozzi. And in a lot of ways, I'm sure they were. However, with so many similar ideas being promoted and with 'Germanic(Prussian) ideals' being imported, there's bound to be some overlap, particularly when you consider the similarities. With Rousseau being the main root either way, Pestalozzi or Fichte. It all ultimately goes back to the same place.

Like so much of any of the other things I quote, the writings of Dewey, Rousseau, Fichte, or any other could be written today.

TOPICS: Education
KEYWORDS: arth; progressingamerica

1 posted on 06/09/2012 9:14:00 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica
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To: skinkinthegrass; RichardMoore; Little Ray; Madame Dufarge; Eye of Newt; AdvisorB; HOYA97; ...
If anybody wants on/off the revolutionary progressivism ping list, send me a message

Progressives do not want to discuss their own history. I want to discuss their history.

Summary: Progressive education has roots that go way back, and I've only scratched the surface.

2 posted on 06/09/2012 9:19:15 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica (What's the best way to reach a you tube generation? Put it on you tube!)
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To: ProgressingAmerica
Thanks. You are doing an important work in uncovering facts which are essential to an understanding of these things.

If you have not already, please read the entire book published by a man named Zach. Montgomery in the Year 1886. Montgomery apparently had been denied an important post in government because he had spoken out on what he believed about the dangers of government control of the schools.

All who love liberty must be willing to come forward to declare that it is better to be remembered for standing on and articulating enduring principles of right versus wrong, liberty versus tyranny, than to be praised by the mainstream media and so-called "progressives."

Here are a few words from "Poison Drops in the United States Senate . . . ." Although his treatise dealt primarily with the public school question, the following remarks might be helpful to those who, today, are concerned by what is called "public education."

"My countrymen, disguise the fact as we may, there is in this country to-day, and in both the political Parties, an element which is ripe for a centralized despotism. There are men and corporations of vast wealth, whose iron grasp spans this whole continent, and who find it more difficult and more expensive to corrupt thirty odd State Legislatures than one Federal Congress. It was said of Nero of old that he wished the Roman people had but one head, so that he might cut it off at a single blow. And so it is with those moneyed kings who would rule this country through bribery, fraud, and intimidation.

"It is easy to see how, with all the powers of government centered at Washington in one Federal head, they could at a single stroke put an end to American liberty.

"But they well understand that before striking this blow the minds of the people must be prepared to receive it. And what surer or safer preparation could possibly be made than is now being made, by indoctrinating the minds of the rising generation with the idea that ours is already a consolidated government ; that the States of the Union have no sovereignty which is not subordinate to the will and pleasure of the Federal head, and that our Constitution is the mere creature of custom, and may therefore be legally altered or abolished by custom.

"Such are a few of the pernicious and poisonous doctrines which ten millions of American children are today drinking in with the very definitions of the words they are compelled to study. And yet the man who dares to utter a word of warning of the approaching danger is stigmatized as an enemy to education and unfit to be men tioned as a candidate for the humblest office.

"Be it so. Viewing this great question as I do, not for all the offices in the gift of the American people would I shrink from an open and candid avowal of my sentiments. If I have learned anything from the reading of history, it is that the man who, in violation of great principles, toils for temporary fame, purchases for himself either total oblivion or eternal infamy, while he who temporarily goes down battling for right principles always deserves, and generally secures, the gratitude of succeeding ages, and will carry with him the sustaining solace of a clean conscience, more precious than all the offices and honors in the gift of man.

"History tells us that Aristides was voted into banishment because he was just. Yet who would not a thousand times rather today be Aristides than be numbered amongst the proudest of his persecutors.

"Socrates, too, in violation of every principle of justice, was con demned to a dungeon and to death. Yet what name is more honored in history than his? And which of his unjust judges would not gladly, hide himself in the utter darkness of oblivion from the with ering scorn and contempt of all mankind ?

"From the noble example of Aristides and of Socrates let American statesmen learn wisdom, and from the undying infamy of their cow ardly time-serving persecutors let political demagogues of today take warning."

So said Zach. Montgomery in 1886. Read his complete work at HERE.

Anyone who reads his complete volume will realize this man's ability to see the consequences of what his fellow Americans were advocating in the area of education of youth.

3 posted on 06/09/2012 9:31:05 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: loveliberty2

Thanks. I didn’t know of this. I added it to my list of research for later.

4 posted on 06/09/2012 9:48:16 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica (What's the best way to reach a you tube generation? Put it on you tube!)
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To: ProgressingAmerica

You may be interested in this. I’m in a Facebook group that discusses Agenda 21. Someone gave us his experience on hearing about that issue & what he was learning in college:

My name is N__ S__, I’m in college, my degree is in Public Policy & Administration, focused on State and Federal Government; Minor in Business. I have two boys, one of them is eight years old, and is in 3rd grade. I ask you to read what I have here in full, before you comment. It might be some value to you... my information above is very important to remember.

I want to be honest with you all. I’m a skeptic. I’m a skeptic, because I just can not imagine... this crazy conspirator idea, of some kind of secret new world order. It’s ridiculous that to think that this can happen while Americans are sleeping. I just can not foresee a world, where I’m no longer an individual, but a mere thorn in the side of my country. This is not Communist Russia! You people live in very skeptical world... and I feel sorry for you, for believing in “Agenda 21.”

So to prove you wrong... I did some 21st century research, with my college degree... so I went to YouTube!!

There is this video titled “Agenda 21 For Dummies.” (Perfect, anything for dummies is easy to understand, and quick!!!)

At the very beginning, these conspirator speakers are talking about “Sustainable Development.” What a load of crap I say. Because that’s not what Sustainable Development is.

So, I went to chapter 6 in my College Text Book Titled “Business, Government, and Society,” for BA 370 Business and Society. By the way, this course is a mandatory class for me to take in order to graduate.

Sustainable Development: Economic growth that meets current needs without social and environmental impacts that harm future generations.

It says right in the Chapter, in a section titled “Reporting and Verification.” It talks about Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)... This is a set uniformed standard for sustainability reporting by the International Progressive Community. The set standard helps companies conform to the GOAL of sustainable development.
Every business has a impact on the worlds financial, social, and environment.

Chapter 6 also has a biography of some guy named Marc Kasky... he’s a hero. I don’t know why, but he must be important if he’s in a book... Right? (Research who this guy is right now.) Marc Kasky +Wikipedia.

So at 44 seconds of this video... some lady... is talking about “how animals are elevated above man... how stupid is this. Are you kidding me???? This lady is just talking out her backside on this one folks. No one thinks that... because that is just stupid!

So... I look at the same book. Chapter 13 “Industrial Pollution and Environmental Regulation.” Has to do with a lot about Polar Bears. “Who are we to decide what animals should live or die? Humans and animals are equal in coexistence.
It also reads a lot about
“Land Ethic:” A Theory that humans are part of an ethical community that includes not only other human beings, but all elements of the natural environment. It implies an ethical duty to nature as well as humanity...

six questions at the end of the chapter.

1. Do you believe that polar bears are endangered as a species now or in the future why or why not.
2. What is the value of the polar bear to the United States? To humanity?
3. Is it important that humanity act to save the polar bear? why or why not?
4. Can the bear be saved? What actions are required?
5. Should more be done now, if so, what is feasible?
6. Would the economic and non-economic benefits of saving the bear exceed the costs?

Hmmm... that’s weird huhh... this cheap production youtube video, is reading just like my class text book...

At 1:10... this guy starts with the conspiracy that this is a socialist progressive movement... What a red baiter!!!

So to prove him wrong... I’m going to go through my college text book, and point out some great American names. I already gave you one. He’s in this book, Marc Karsky. However here is some more.

Congressman Barney Frank (D-mass)
Thorstein Veblen
Henery David Thoreau
Cesar Chavez
Leon H. Sullivan
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Cali)
Representative Peter Visclosky (D-Indi)
David Geffen... apparently he’s friends with some guy named Leonard Peltier?
Mary “Mother” Jones... “AFI-CIO” has a thing about her... “weird.”
The Clinton’s are also in this book... a lot!!!

hmmm... a quick search of just a few names in this book. Well... that was weird. These people above are either Marxist, Socialist, Anarchist, or are extreme in some way... or share some idea of “Global Community.”

Then around 2 minutes into the video... this lady starts talking about “Consumerism.”

Back to the book... oh.... um... that’s chapter 15.
That’s weird.
Say, you guys ever heard of Transfair?

2:16... Societal Abandonment of the Family?
“Gay Marriage?” “Removing Religion and religious values?”

“I had to talk to three doctors, to get my son a circumcision... I was asked by a doctor in Portland, if I think it really needs to be done, and if I thought there was any medical necessity for it.” Other then a covenant with god... I guess I really don’t have a reason outside of that. So is circumcision wrong now? I guess so, since it’s illegal to be performed in San Francisco.

4:00... Rail lines
Isn’t that happening in the Portland area right now... Voter initiative is being turned down, and the Commissions are pushing for rail lines to be built anyway?

5:44... How do you do it?

“You steal a generation of children, and indoctrinate them to accepting these ideas... and they become global citizens.” “UNISCO declared 2005-2014 for sustainable development education.”

Well that is just silly. Oh... wait. There’s a sign in my sons school that says, “How can you be a better citizen to the world?” Wait a second....... is my class text book, a tool to this supposed indoctrination?

Why is my child and me always bumping heads on historical information? I played Charbonneau in a Lewis & Clark play in 4th grade. Yet, my kid is telling me Sacajawea was a slave, and was one of two wives of Charbonneau.

George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Abraham Lincoln

where all slave owners.

Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, Rosa Parks... those are heroes.

Ok {founding fathers... bad... Marxist and revolutionist... good}

6:25... the purpose is to... well you watch it, and think about it.

Folks... after watching this video... and looking at my textbook. I just took a class in “Agenda 21.” I just took a class, that makes Agenda 21... ok! Because, well we shouldn’t pollute, and kill polar bears, or praise capitalism. We have a moral obligation to each other as humans, world around.” We should put the sustainability of our earth and earths creatures, before mans selfish desires...

I’m the indoctrinated !!!
It’s real :( It’s really real. What’s sad... is this is a mandatory class to graduate from the university. My child’s generation to my generation, are part of this indoctrination.

I could keep going forever... but I think I can save that for another time

5 posted on 06/09/2012 10:04:20 AM PDT by Twotone (Marte Et Clypeo)
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To: ProgressingAmerica

The education system needs to be destroyed and started fresh. Instead of conservatives occasionally taking over a school board so that they can run this corrupt and socialist system, they need to take over school boards with the purpose of shutting down all the government schools and giving the money from property taxes to parents to educate their own kids.

6 posted on 06/09/2012 12:37:13 PM PDT by Defiant (If there are infinite parallel universes, why Lord, am I living in the one with Obama as President?)
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To: ProgressingAmerica

Well, even to have a public school system involved statist or nationalist or (in a broad sense) socialist thinking, and anybody who advanced a “theory” of education in the 19th century would have to come to terms with Rousseau and in a sense follow in his footsteps, but I’m not quite sure the opponents of public education were much to write home about either.

7 posted on 06/09/2012 12:49:21 PM PDT by x
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To: ProgressingAmerica; metmom; wintertime

Your articles deserve more views!

Metmom and wintertime - may interest you!

(Placemarking to read more thoroughly tomorrow.)

8 posted on 06/12/2012 9:43:59 PM PDT by little jeremiah
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To: ProgressingAmerica
In “Road to Serfdom”, where Hayek points out (page 81) that classical liberalism had been killed by the socialists, this is how they did it

If children attend godless government owned and run compulsory socialist-entitlment schools the following happens;

—They **will** learn to think and reason godlessly. They **must** just to cooperate in the classroom.

—They risk learning that any voting mob powerful enough to give them tuition-free schooling is powerful enough to give them **lots** of free stuff! ( Franklin D. Roosevelt wasn't an accident.)

—The children risk learning to be comfortable with government compulsion.

— Every First Amendment Right of the child, parent, and the taxpayer is TRASHED by government schools. This includes speech, press, assembly, free exercise of religion.

— NO NO NO NO government school is religious neutral and **never** has been! It is **impossible** to have a religiously neutral education. At the moment it is the godless religion of secular humanism that is preached in our government schools.

— Modern government schooling since its institution in the mid-1800s to early 1900s ( but especially today with modern mega-schools) treats children like prisoners. In many, many, many ways the school day of a child resembles that of prison life. They are herded about in packs to the sounds of bells. When and what they eat, when they can speak, or rest is dictated by government functionaries. They are commanded to exercise on demand. Their buildings **look like prisons**. If they are allowed to freely play ( most aren't) it is in areas that look like prison exercise yards.

— School social pathology resembles prison gang survival strategies.

— School property taxes have made all possessors of property RENTERS! No one “owns” property in the U.S. today. The government is the landlord. Property taxes are rent, and in most communities school taxes are well beyond 50% of all property taxes and in some communities such as mine it is 80%.

— School buses look like prison transport.

— Kids waiting for school buses look like day workers waiting outside Home Depot.

Finally, I consider government schooling sooooo evil for the child and such a threat to our continuing freedom as a nation that I will NOT have a government school worker for a friend. They are too evil, too stupid, or too much of a Useful Idiot to be a friend.

( I don't have abortion workers for friends either.)

9 posted on 06/13/2012 5:18:42 AM PDT by wintertime (Reforming a government K-12 school is like reforming an abortion mill.)
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To: Defiant


Please read my post #9.

It is just as impossible to reform socialist-entitlement schooling as it is to reform an abortion center. The philosophical foundation is upon which both are built is so corrupt that they must be shut down.

10 posted on 06/13/2012 5:24:07 AM PDT by wintertime (Reforming a government K-12 school is like reforming an abortion mill.)
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To: ProgressingAmerica; 2Jedismom; 6amgelsmama; AAABEST; aberaussie; AccountantMom; Aggie Mama; ...


This ping list is for the “other” articles of interest to homeschoolers about education and public school. This can occasionally be a fairly high volume list. Articles pinged to the Another Reason to Homeschool List will be given the keyword of ARTH. (If I remember. If I forget, please feel free to add it yourself)

The main Homeschool Ping List handles the homeschool-specific articles. I hold both the Homeschool Ping List and the Another Reason to Homeschool Ping list. Please freepmail me to let me know if you would like to be added to or removed from either list, or both.

11 posted on 06/13/2012 6:29:22 AM PDT by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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