Sam Weaver
March 8, 2004
John Dewey: the father of progressive education
By Sam Weaver

"I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers that correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being...The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and new — the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent with the promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of 'love thy neighbor' will finally be achieved." — excerpt from an article by John Dunphy titled "A Religion for a New Age," appearing in the January/February 1983 issue of The Humanist Magazine.

In so many words, the above excerpt reveals the objective of modern, "'progressive' education." (Please note the word "proselytizers," and then consider the abject scorn and condemnation against those who would even attempt to "proselytize" the faiths of either Judaism or Christianity in a public school classroom!) At some point between the late 1940's and the mid 1950's, the doctrines of progressive education achieved dominance in a majority of America's public schools and universities. The fundamental dogma of this movement is probably best defined as a mixture of collectivist (i. e., socialistic, even Marxist) political theory and Freudian/Jungian psychology. The goal of the progressive education movement was (and remains today) to subvert American founding ideas and principles and to replace them with secular and collectivist directives and "values." It was (and is) a permissive, "Unitarian Universalist" approach to education.

Hallmarks of American greatness such as rugged individualism, free-enterprise, faith in a Creator and Author of Law, moral absolutes, discipline and hard work are now considered passé by the adherents of progressive education. The "fragile" self-esteem of students is "threatened" by such "outmoded concepts." Never mind the absolute fact that these ideas and values are what have made the United States of America both an unrivaled superpower and the envied bastion of liberty for the entire world to behold!

As a movement, progressive education was designed by well-meaning individuals who perceived great problems in the Judeo-Christian/"capitalistic" underpinning of American culture. The architects of this ongoing endeavor sought to raze America's foundation and to rebuild it upon a secular, collectivist base. [If you doubt this, please get your hands on a copy of Harold Ordway Rugg's book, The Great Technology: Social Chaos and the Public Mind (1933); or at least take a good look at all of the information posted at! Rugg's work not only spelled out the goals and objectives of the movement, but also revealed its tactics and strategies. If you are Christian, then Jesus' words in Matthew 7:24-27 should put all of this into perspective.]

The chief architect (often called the "father") of the progressive education movement was John Dewey (1859-1952). Dewey contributed to and is a signatory of the original Humanist Manifesto. (See As such, Dewey clearly rejected the notion of a Supreme Creator and Author of Law and heartily embraced the ideas of relativism and global government. He was highly influential in the establishment of the modern National Education Association (NEA), and he all but single-handedly set the ultra-liberal standard to which the NEA adheres to this day. [For an "alternative" (i. e., conservative, or original-American) position on the NEA, please see, and/or Incidentally, with the blessing of the U. S. Department of Education, established in 1979 during the Carter Administration, the NEA has become one of the most — if not the most — powerful forces for shaping the hearts and minds of America's youth.] Dewey refined and established curricula at New York's Columbia University Teacher's College for the express purpose of bringing about "social progress and reform."

Many today idolize John Dewey as a great thinker and an icon of public education. Increasingly, however, clear-thinking "regular folks" — especially those trapped in inner-city public schools or those who have children who must attend these schools — are beginning to see the dreadfully destructive force of his "progressive," permissive, "touchy-feely" approach to, pardon me, "education."

Whenever you hear modern liberals proclaiming "American values," or "our values," you must understand that these libs are embracing the collectivist, secular, "progressive 'values'" of John Dewey and his followers. After all, that is what they were taught American values have always been! When activist judges rule against the will of the American people, and discover new "rights" and "values" in the U.S. Constitution; those new "rights" and "values" represent — as far as they know — the secular, socialistic "values" which they have learned from the Ivy League schools in which they received their law degrees that America has always represented! Never mind these "values" are inimical to the truths and principles that made genuine American liberty possible. Genuine American liberty is utterly impossible without a firm belief that human rights come not from human understanding — not from man or government; but from a Creator and an Author of Law. Our Declaration of Independence proclaims it so!

The word "progressive" has become little more than a thinly veiled euphemism to disguise and to sugarcoat the modern liberal intent to break down America's original religious, political, economic and scientific institutions and to replace them with Franco-German, secular and collectivist ideology. Virtually every modern liberal — as did the late John Dewey — means well. Of that, I am convinced. But as that old cliché goes, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." Always beware the law of unintended consequences!

If you were "educated" in a big-city public school, an Ivy League University, or, for that matter, even a state college — thanks to John Dewey and his faithful "progressive" disciples such as Harold Rugg, William H. Kilpatrick and George S. Counts, to name just a few; I do not expect you to get the drift of this piece. You have been desensitized, overcome and out rightly deceived by America's Huns and Vandals. I forgive you, for you know not what you do. You will always be in my prayers.

But for those of you precious readers here in the Heartland who are resisting the Barbarians at the gates — be brave! Cherish liberty and have faith! Never, never forget the Origin of your liberty nor neglect the Object of your faith! Engage the Enemy on every vital front! Pray diligently for mercy and understanding upon all of those who have been deceived; and, YES, pray for God's righteous judgment and wrath upon those who willfully and maliciously deceive and lead others astray. Pray for the preservation of true liberty in the United States of America! Once the flickering flame of liberty is extinguished in America, darkness will envelop the whole world.

© Sam Weaver

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Sam Weaver

Sam Weaver is a native Texan. Lively discussions back in 1984--first with his very liberal girlfriend, and then with several college instructors--made him question his beliefs and his belief system... (more)


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