Doctoral Seminar – ‘The education debate’ (30/10)
Jane Addams

Doctoral Seminar – ‘The education debate’ (30/10)

 Doctoral Seminar
‘The education debate’ (30/10, 14:00–16:00, BL2101)

Welcome to the School of Education’s first term of doctoral seminars! For a full schedule of seminars from now until December, see here. Details of this and future seminars will be available on this blog.

Please prepare for the seminar by engaging with the common text, a set of media pieces, and any others that interest you, reflecting on them and the following questions in relation to your research. If you have other readings that you have found useful for thinking about issues of power in your own research and that will diversify our perspectives, please send references so that we can recommend them to the group.

Questions to consider

This session will explore historically ‘recurring’ debates around the nature and purpose of education, in particular as articulated around the formation and critique of progressive educational movements. We will practice engaging in these debates critically, and consider the implications of existing theoretical frameworks for contemporary educational policy and practice (in comparative perspective).

How are ‘traditional’ and ‘progressive’ education defined, by who and why? Is the definition similar across time and place? What elements of the debate often articulate around these categories and why? How are social theories deployed (or not) in these debates? How would you theorise them? What is the role of social theory in making sense of and responding to this debate? What are its limitations?

Common reading

Dewey, J. (1938) ‘Traditional versus progressive education’, Chapter 1 in Experience and Education, online at http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/ndemers/colloquium/experienceducationdewey.pdf.

Read/watch/listen to one set of media pieces


Hook, Sidney (1945) ‘The case for progressive education’, Saturday Evening Post, 30 June, 217(53): 28–31 [available via eLibrary].

Roe, Constance (1945) ‘My case against Progressive Education’, Saturday Evening Post, 23 June, 217(52): 14–18 [available via eLibrary].


Laura Tisdall (2009) ‘Michael Gove’s education policies would look old-fashioned in the 1950s’, The Guardian, 27 May, online at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/may/27/michael-gove-education-policies-old-fashioned-1950s.

Gove, M. (2013) ‘The progressive betrayal’, speech delivered to the Social Market Foundation, 5 February, read and/or listen online at http://www.smf.co.uk/michael-gove-speaks-at-the-smf/.

Peal, R. (2014) ‘Gove’s unfinished business’, Demos Quarterly, 3, online at http://quarterly.demos.co.uk/article/issue-3/goves-unfinished-business/.


School: A Film about Progressive Education (1939)] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7lHva6HAlc

Stevenson, J. (2010) ‘Hessian Hills’, New York Times, 27 June, online at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/06/27/opinion/0627stevenson_interactive.html?_r=1&.

For a full reading list, click here.

Please contact Dr. Sarah Amsler for further details (samsler@lincoln.ac.uk) or drop by BH0208b.

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