One month ago, I published a historical critique of progressive education entitled Progressively Worse. It has two essential arguments. Firstly, from the 1960s onwards progressive education has become a powerful orthodoxy within the state education system. Secondly, it has failed to improve the quality of education in our schools.
Since Progressively Worse came out, three lengthy retorts have been published courtesy of bloggers Tim Taylor, Sue Gerrard and Guy Woolnough. Taken together, they accuse me of misrepresenting historical documents; cherry picking facts; establishing false dichotomies; letting my own ‘cognitive biases’ get in the way of ‘data’; and overplaying the success of independent schools. These are very common accusations to be levelled at critics of progressive education, so I am going to answer them in a series of posts. This is the first.
Picking at Plowden
Tim Taylor wrote a lengthy blog post taking issue with my treatment…
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