• Alan R. Sadovnik
  • Susan F. Semel


Historians of progressive education have often overlooked the contributions of women to the movement. Although some of the women chronicled in this book are mentioned in various histories,1 this is more often than not in the context of brief discussions of the schools that they founded, rather than in a discussion of their lives and careers. More importantly, histories of progressive education tend to be histories of great men, including John Dewey, William Heard Kilpatrick, Harold Rugg, and George Counts, or their opponents, including Robert Hutchins, Arthur Bestor, Hyman Rick-over, and Isaac Kandel.2 In Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reform, a historical critique of progressive education, Diane Ravitch continues this trend by attributing the founding of many of the child-centered schools of the early twentieth century to upper middle-class parents, rather than the women founders of these schools.3


Public School Private School Leadership Style Feminist Theory Progressive Education 
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    See Lawrence A. Cremin, The Transformation of the School: Progressivism in American Education, 1876–1957 (New York: Vintage Books, 1961).Google Scholar
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    See Cremin, The Transformation of the School; Diane Ravitch, The Troubled Crusade (New York: Basic Books, 1985).Google Scholar
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    For discussions of women’s place in schools and the devaluing of practice, see Michael Apple, “Teaching and Women’s Work: A Comparative Historical and Ideological Analysis” Teachers College Record 86 (Spring 1985): 455–473;Google Scholar
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    See Anthony Bryk, Valerie Lee, and Peter Holland, Catholic Schools and the Common Good (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993).Google Scholar
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© Alan R. Sadovnik, Susan F. Semel 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan R. Sadovnik
  • Susan F. Semel

There are no affiliations available

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