Loving Learning: How Progressive Education Can Save America's Schools

Loving Learning: How Progressive Education Can Save America's Schools

Loving Learning: How Progressive Education Can Save America's Schools

Loving Learning: How Progressive Education Can Save America's Schools

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Noted educator Tom Little and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Katherine Ellison reveal the home-grown solution to turning American students into life-long learners.

The longtime head of Park Day School, Tom Little embarked on a tour of 43 progressive schools across the country. In this book, his life’s work, he interweaves his teaching experience, the knowledge he gleaned from his trip, and the history of Progressive Education. As Little and Katherine Ellison reveal, these educators and schools invigorate learning and promote inquisitiveness by allowing the curriculum to grow organically out of children's questions—whether they lead to studying the senses, working on a farm, or re-creating a desert ecosystem in the classroom.

We see curious students draw on information across disciplines to think in imaginative yet practical ways, like in a "Mini-Maker Faire" or designing and building a chair from scratch. Becoming good citizens was another of Little's goals. He believed in the need for students to learn how to become advocates for themselves, from setting rules on the playground to engaging in issues of social justice in the wider community.

Using the philosophy of Progressive Education, schools can prepare students to shape a vibrant future in the arts and sciences for themselves and the nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393246162
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/02/2015
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Tom Little served as head of Oakland, California's Park Day School for twenty-seven years. A national leader in Progressive Education, he cofounded the Progressive Education Network. He died in 2014 from cancer shortly after writing this book.

Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer Prize–winning former foreign correspondent and the author of seven books, including The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes You Smarter and Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention. She lives in northern California.

Table of Contents

Foreword Ayelet Waldman 9

Introduction: Meet Me at Park Day 15

1 "Remakers of Mankind" 32

2 The Rug: Teaching to the "Whole Child" 54

3 The Inner Ear: Learning That Ignites Children's Senses 70

4 The Magic Circle: Building Character and Community 91

5 The Storyboard: The Progressive Heart of High Technology 112

6 Tasting the Soup: Recipes to Calm a "Testing Mania" 129

7 The Laboratory: Messiness and Failure-Progressive Educations Vulnerability and Strength 149

8 The Petition: Promoting Social Justice 165

Conclusion: Back to the Future 188

Epilogue 204


Progressive Education Association: Seven Founding Principles 207

A List of Schools Using Progressive Education Methods 209

A (Somewhat Idiosyncratic) Top-Ten List of Books, Studies, and Articles Supporting the Benefits of Progressive Education 216

Park Day School's Sixth-Graders' Poem to Tom Little 217

Notes 219

Bibliography 231

Acknowledgments 233

Index 237

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