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The Mormon response to early progressive education, 1892-1920

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Education
Department Educational Administration
Author Payne, Allan Dean
Title The Mormon response to early progressive education, 1892-1920
Date 1977
Description This dissertation is an historical investigation of the Mormon response to progressive reform in Utah's schools between 1892 and 1920. It is limited to the educational thought and practice of church leaders and Mormon educators responsible for the church and public schools in Utah's three principal cities: Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Provo. More specifically, liThe Mormon Response to Early Progressive Education" examines the degree to which r1ormon educators and members of the hierarchy understood, rejected, adopted, or adapted progressive credo. Besides describing the historical facts and inferences associated with the Mormon response to the various strands of progressive education, this dissertation suggests explanations for the specific Mormon reactions. Considering its isolation from progressive centers in the Midwest and East and considering its relatively few professional educators at the century's turn, Mormonism enjoyed surprisingly frequent contacts with progressive education's brightest luminaries, including visits from Francis W. Parker, John Dewey, G. Stanley Hall, and William Wirt. The number of Mormon educators who studied in the Midwest and East, coupled with the eastern non-ttormon faculty members who taught at Utah's two leading normal schools, was equally impressive. The frequency and quality of these contacts helped initiate and sustain a progressive environment often praised by some of the nation's most perceptive educational observers. Practical education (manual training, vocational and industrial preparation, domestic arts and science) was widely accepted by members of the hierarchy and by professional educators as well. The child-his interests, needs, play, activity, hygiene and physical well-being-also became a focal point of education for Mormon educators and, to a lesser degree, for members of the hierarchy. Correlation of subjects and correlation of school and out-of-school experience figured prominently in the Mormon response to the new education. Finally, immediate, palliative social reform of the sort espoused by Jane Addams was not viewed as relevant for Utah society. Instead, the emphasis was placed upon community building and subjection of the physical environment as part of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth. Mormonism spawned numerous educators and programs reflecting what was most typical in progressive education during its formative years. Many educators in the church system and in the public schools were steeped in progressive theory, techniques, and aims. They applauded the valuable results of thoughtfully employed practical education, child-centeredness, and correlation; but they also realized that progressive education was (or underscored) a process of learning which emphasized creativity, self-expression, activity, observation, and experimentation. While members of the hierarchy could distinguish between traditional and progressive education, they did not always understand the mechanics; they were more impressed by results of the new education than by processes involved.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Mormons -- Education
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Allan Dean Payne
Format Medium application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s61w0h8k
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2020-02-27
Date Modified 2020-02-28
ID 1528016
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s61w0h8k
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