By Craig Kridel, Robert V. Bullough

An in-depth research of 1 of an important academic experiments of the 20th century.

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It is true that the PEA was first composed of an elite, East Coast private school constituency, yet Cobb maintained that this merely reflected opportunities for educational innovation, since private schools were freer to experiment than were public schools. 10 Further, the PEA may not have been quite as obscure as is often assumed. The organization received substantial national attention throughout the 1930s. Newspaper accounts described the Eight-Year Study and its preliminary results in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

30 Stories of the Eight-Year Study Definitions of Progressive Education The many myths surrounding the Progressive Education Association are actually less complex than the variety of definitions of progressive education, in the 1930s as well as today. 22 And this was certainly the case when one looks carefully at the PEA, an organization of competing coalitions among its constituency, each holding different views of progressivism. ” These catchphrases became the basis of caricatures by critics in the 1950s who popularized images of cheerful children doing as they pleased, greeted with smiling approval from their poorly educated but tolerant teachers, stereotypes that live to this day.

It conceives of the school as perpetuating in American life the open road and new opportunities for fulfillment which constitute our richest inheritance from the American frontier. (V. T. Thayer, 1944)1 Among those who prepared for a changing future without dogmatism or rigidity, V. T. Thayer embodies the work of the Eight-Year Study. Thayer was, in the language of the time, “a schoolman” V. T. Thayer, photograph, ca. and much more: a philosopher, human1940, Ohio State University ist, and social critic.

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