The Savage Origins of Child-Centered Pedagogy, 1871-1913 Thomas Fallace William Paterson University of New Jersey Abstract: Child-centered pedagogy is at the ideological core of progressive education. The simple idea that the child rather than the teacher or textbook should be the major focus of the classroom is, perhaps, the single most enduring educational idea of the era. In this historical study, the author argues that childcentered education emerged directly from the theory of recapitulation, the idea that the development of the White child retraced the history of the human race. The theory of recapitulation was pervasive in the fields of anthropology, sociology, and psychology at the turn of the 20th century, and so early progressive educators uncritically adopted the basic tenets of the theory, which served as a major rationale for child-centered instruction. The theory was inherently ethnocentric and racist because it pointed to the West as the developmental endpoint of history, thereby depicting people of color as ontologically less developed than their White counterparts.
Am Educ Res J-2015-Fallace-73-103 (1).pdf
Description: Am Educ Res J-2015-Fallace-73-103 (1).pdf