The number one thing I got out of this book: send your kids to Montessori schools folks!
What a fun, easy, clear read. It is what it is. It doesn't have solutions. Its remark on Montessori is but a paragraph. But it was the most important paragraph to me because if the super evil dude who wrote Dare the Schools Build a New Social Order used the Rockefeller fortune to suppress Montessori... well, I just assume that's the school I want :)
I took off one star for how it ends: our schools are giant brainwashing machines but that only sucks because they are in the wrong hands, if only they were in the right hands..... Oh Paolo. I really hope that was a bad joke.
Although today Dewey's views are in practice in the great majority of American schools, before the turn of the century they were revolutionary. The Wundtian redefinition of "education" to mean feeding experimental data to a young brain and nervous system, rather than teaching of mental skills, led to the abdication of the traditional role of the teacher as educator, Its place was taken by the concept of the teacher as a guide in the socialization of the child, leading each youngster to adapt the specific behavior required of him in order for him to get along in his group. Dewey called for a leveling of individual differences into a common pool of students who are the object of learning technicians devising the social order of the future.
This is the view of Dewey and other Wundtians--that man is a social animal who must learn to adapt to his environment , instead of learning how to ethically adapt the environment to suit his needs and those of society. Individualism and the developing of individual abilities give way to social conformity and adaptation; the product of education becomes "well-adjusted" (conditioned) children.... which creates a society that operates more on the basis of gratification than on the basis of reason and responsibility.
Rugg: through the schools of the world we shall disseminate a new conception of government--one that will embrace all of the collective activities of men; one that will postulate the need for scientific control and operation of economic activities
Gates through General Education Board: In our dream we have limitless resources and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands