Loving Learning, How Progressive Education Can Save America’s Schools

“Rarely will one find a secondary school holding so closely as does Crefeld to its progressive philosophy and values.”

This is a quote from Tom Little, former President of the Progressive Education Network, after he spent a day with me on Crefeld’s campus in 2013. Tom was touring the country, visiting progressive schools, and gathering data to write a book on the current state of progressive education.

Tom’s book, “Loving Learning, How Progressive Education Can Save America’s Schools,” was published about seven months ago. He found many similarities between the philosophy of our progressive education pioneers and today. In the first chapter, Tom outlines six core strategies that are the pillars of current progressive schools.

  1. Attention to children’s emotions as well as their intellects;

  2. Reliance on students’ interests to guide their learning;

  3. Curtailment or outright bans of testing, grading, and ranking;

  4. Involvement of students in real-world endeavors, ranging from going on field trips to managing a farm;

  5. The study of topics in an integrated way, from a variety of different disciplines; and, not least;

  6. Support for children to develop a sense of social justice and become active participants in America’s democracy.

Over my next several entries, I will be talking about each pillar and how it manifests at Crefeld.