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Getting it Wrong from the Beginning: Our Progressivist Inheritance from Herbert Spencer, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget, KEgan (2002)

May 26, 2012

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“Perhaps I should emphasize this point, for it seems not much commented on. Spencer, Dewey, and Piaget all argued for reducing, simplifying, and “concretizing” the curriculum for young children. A consequence of this trivializing of the primary curriculum is that children do not learn the prerequisites to later learning, and this trivialization that begins in the early years has an impoverishing effect on students’ abilities to learn throughout their schooling. For example, the flawed arguments that led to the removal of history from the primary curriculum and its displacement by social studies has, as a consequence, students’ later reduced ability to understand history.”

[p. 143]

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