The Dalton School: The Transformation of a Progressive School (American University Studies Series XIV, Education)

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9780820422084: The Dalton School: The Transformation of a Progressive School (American University Studies Series XIV, Education)

The Dalton School, an independent, progressive school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, was founded in 1919 by Helen Parkhurst. Influenced by educational leaders such as Maria Montessori, Frederic Burk, Carlton Washburne, and John Dewey, Helen Parkhurst established a child-centered, progressive school which attempted to incorporate the notion of a democratic community within the boundaries of an educational program. This innovative program became known as The Dalton Plan.
In this book, Susan F. Semel tells the story of The Dalton School from its earliest beginnings through the present day. Her story traces the history of progressive education within the walls of The Dalton School, focusing on the school's heads, including Charlotte Durham, Donald Barr and Gardner Dunnan. During certain periods of the school's history, as progressive education waxed and waned in the educational community at large and as educators responded to demands for more content-based curriculum, The Dalton Plan was modified. At other times, the school was impervious to the infusion of current educational thought. Consequently, during some periods of its history, The Dalton School was on the cutting edge of educational reform while, during others, the school swam against the tide of «alternative education» or neo-progressivism to favor a traditional back-to-basics approach. Ultimately, Semel uses the original Dalton Plan as a yardstick by which to measure what has happened to progressive education in the larger world.
While Susan Semel concludes that The Dalton School, in its present state, is not the same school that Helen Parkhurst founded, it still employs an educational program that pays attention to the needs of a multicultural society and reconfirms the spirit of child-centered pedagogy as an important concern of the Dalton community.

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About the Author:

The Author: Susan F. Semel is an assistant professor of Education at Adelphi University. She received her A.B. in European history from Wheaton College, in Norton, M.A., and her M.A.T., Ed.M. and Ed.D. in the history and philosophy of education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Semel taught history at the Dalton School from 1965-1988. Her current research interests include the history of progressive education, international educational reform, and the history of women and education. She is the co-editor of the International Handbook of Educational Reform, and the co-author of the forthcoming Exploring Education.

Review:

«L'étude, mise à discussion, illustre d'une façon évidente une donnée historique d'après des détails fort intéressants, pris sur le vif. En outre, et par la force des choses, des aspects de plus d'un demi-siècle de l'histoire de l'enseignement (privé et américain) sont décrits. ils sont importants pour une compréhension actuelle de l'état des choses.» (Paul Halens, Paedagogica Historica)
«Semel's history of Dalton tells an important story. Her analysis is cogent and clearly presented.» (Arthur Zilversmit, American Journal of Education)
«L'étude, mise à discussion, illustre d'une façon évidente une donnée historique d'après des détails fort intéressants, pris sur le vif. En outre, et par la force des choses, des aspects de plus d'un demi-siècle de l'histoire de l'enseignement (privé et américain) sont décrits. Ils sont importants pour une compréhension actuelle de l'état des choses.» (Paul Halens, Paedagogica Historica)
«Semel's history of Dalton tells an important story. Her analysis is cogent and clearly presented.» (Arthur Zilversmit, American Journal of Education)

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Semel, Susan F.
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