Paul Diederich and the Progressive American High School

By:
Robert L. Hampel, University of Delaware

A volume in the series: Readings in Educational Thought. Editor(s): Chara Haeussler Bohan, Georgia State University. Perry L. Glanzer, Baylor University. Andrew J. Milson, University of North Texas. J. Wesley Null, Baylor University.

Published 2014

Paul Diederich worked in five new organizations dedicated to transforming American schools: the Ohio State University lab school, the Eight Year Study, a Harvard institute to revamp English language instruction, the University of Chicago's Board of Examiners, and the Educational Testing Service. Throughout his career he wrote critiques of American high schools and set forth many proposals to make them more flexible without sacrificing academic excellence. This anthology resurrects 14 Diederich essays, eight of them never before published. The scope ranges from visions of social justice to the details of the daily schedule. Like his heroes Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, he combined a passion for utopian speculation with a fascination for practical problems, a combination that is rare in the world of school reform today.

CONTENTS
Contents. Acknowledgments. Introduction. Part I: Lessons Learned from the eIght Year study 1. Eighteen Shortcomings of American Education (1942) 2. Running Away (1942) 3. Free Reading (1942) PART II: The Spirit and Substance of A Progressive High School —Educate for the sake of a just society and a good life 4. What Kind of Society Do We Want? (1936) 5. Philosophy for Teenagers (1940) 6. The Virtues Schools Should Cultivate (1945) —Make the curriculum less onerous 7. Latin Grammar Without Tears (1939) 8. A Monstrous Schedule of Cramped Inactivity (1959) —Provide more individual attention 9. “Progress Toward Complete Living”: Guidance and Counseling in High School (1949) 10. Waiting Without Giving Up (1969) —Restructure 11. When Should High School Begin And End? (1954) 12. A Seamless Eight Year Liberal Arts Education (1958) 13. Cutting Class Size by Half (1960) 14. Reorganizing the Educational Testing Service (1970) Epilogue (1996) More Diederich. About the Author.