Welcome to The Progressive Educator

EduSanity is no more.

Well, there’s more. But it’s different.

When Chris and I launched EduSanity in 2012 we were pretty angry about the course that public education was taking in the United States. In the three years since our launch we have written lots of posts that take on the forces of privatization that seek to profit off the education of our children.

We won’t be quitting that fight.

But things have changed somewhat. Where we once wanted to simply restore sanity to the discourse of public education in the United States, we now have broader goals. Rather than seeing our blog and related endeavors as a reaction to bad ideas, policies and sometimes people, we want to take our work in a more positive direction.

That doesn’t mean we won’t still fire up the righteous indignation when it is warranted.

As avowed progressive educators, we decided that renaming this site “The Progressive Educator” would be a proper reflection of what we want to do.

It’s important to start off on that path by clarifying what “progressive” means in this context. While we tend to think of “progressive” in political terms – thereby associating the word with others like “liberal” or “democrat” – that’s not how we are using it here.

Instead, we like to think of progressive education in the same fashion as the father of progressive education, John John-Dewey-Laboratory-School-1859-1952Dewey, did over a hundred years ago. I won’t bog down this post with citations or quotes, but rather with a simple distillation of the theory in terms the average reader can appreciate.

Dewey knew that in order for education to maximize its value to the human experience, it needed to be in a state of constant change – or more specifically – progress. Progressive educators are those who recognize that education is experience, that our educational experiences must change as our life experiences change, and that educational experiences are only truly educative if they lead to further life and educational experiences.

That’s a very generalized take on a very complex and granular philosophy.  But blogs aren’t necessarily meant to be complex and granular.  It’s enough to know that progressive educators connect meaningful educational experience to students’ lives in a manner that will prepare and encourage them to seek out more experiences. That’s who we are and that’s what we are in the classroom.

This site is named “The Progressive Educator” because we envision it as a space for those who share our philosophical approach to educating students across disciplines and ages. In the future you will see posts related to this purpose as well as posts that look like classic EduSanity diatribes. Its not like we’re changing who we are.

To be clear, we don’t believe that the discourse on public education has had its sanity restored thereby freeing us to move on. But one can only feed off righteous indignation for so long before it becomes debilitating to the energy and soul of the educator. That’s one reason we want to use this space in a more positive way – to write about what we believe in rather than primarily dissecting the potentially harmful beliefs of others.

Our social media accounts are also changing to keep up. If you already follow us on Facebook or Twitter you will see “The Progressive Educator” show up on your Facebook timeline and @T_P_Educator in your Twitter feed. If you don’t follow us you can click on the icons in the left sidebar!

Thanks for the support,

Jason and Chris