The American Progressive Period


Main Points About Education

  • Children worked which limited education
  • By 1920 all states passed laws requiring children to attend school
  • Urban schools became over-crowded and conditions were poor


  • Were considered professionals
  • Were qualified to teach a variety of subjects and trained in a classroom
  • Teacher unions were formed to protect teachers rights

Segregation in Schools

  • African American children attended separate public schools that received less funding
  • Education materials were scarce and inferior to other public schools
  • African American teachers could only teach in African American schools and received lower pay

School Curriculum

  • Focused on students more as individuals
  • Felt students should be encouraged to think critically and independently

How John Dewey Affected Schools

  • Educational philosopher, psychologist and leading voice for progressive education
  • Believed classrooms were too rigid, inflexible and didn't meet needs, interests and abilities of students.
  • Believed schools should place a greater emphasis on the development of problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Promoted the link between learning and experience

How Maria Montessori Affecred Schools

  • Italy's first female doctor who found ways to help children who had difficulty learning
  • Teaching program she developed had great impact
  • Believed that sensory experience should come before learning to read and write

Career and Technical Education

  • Prepared students for the many career opportunities in specific trades and occupations where skilled workers were needed.
  • Smith- Hughes Act of 1917 established federal funds to support vocational education.
  • Funding influenced the spread of CTE classes in public high schools
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