The International Handbook of Progressive Education engages contemporary debates about the purpose of education, presenting diverse ideas developed within a broadly conceived progressive education movement. It calls for a more critical and dynamic conception of education goals as a necessary element of a healthy society. The scope is global, with contributing authors and examples from around the world. The sweep includes past, present, and future. Even for those who lament its failures, progressive education still seems to be asking the right questions. There is a vision, the progressive impulse, which goes beyond educational practice per se to include inquiry into a conception of the good life for both individuals and society. Because progressivists tend to dispute the status quo and the extent to which it nurtures that good life, there is an underlying critical edge to progressive thinking, one that has sharpened in recent progressive education discourse. The handbook's inquiry into progressive education starts with a number of intriguing and difficult questions: How has progressive education fared in different contexts? How do progressive methods relate to ideas of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching? And do they "work"? If progressive education offers an important alternative, why has it often been ignored, abandoned, or suppressed? What is the relevance of its tenets, methods, and questions in the new information age and in a world facing global changes in environment, politics, religion, language, and every other aspect of society?
"Ultimately, this is a sprawling tome with many things of interest and, as an historian, I particularly enjoyed the earlier chapters which sought to identify solutions to the present from those found within the past. Other readers will no doubt find their own interests satisfied elsewhere. What can be said however is that, whilst an academic read, it is an optimistic one and there is much here for the scholar, student and practitioner to suggest that the spirit of Dewey and the progressive tradition can be kept alive. In the current educational climate, this surely remains an essential priority."
(John Howlett, Other Education - The Journal of Educational Alternatives 7/2018)
Mustafa Yunus Eryaman is President of the Turkish Educational Research Association and Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at €anakkale Onsekiz Mart University. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois. He serves as a council member in the European and World Educational Research Associations.
Bertram C. Bruce is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois. He has a PhD in computer science from the University of Texas. His many publications include Network-Based Classrooms, Electronic Quills, Libr@ries: Changing Information Space and Practice, and Literacy in the Information Age.