The Texas Standard, Volume 32, Number 2, March-April 1958 Page: 3
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were the battle cries of progressives in the
early decades of the 20th century. Today
they are espoused though progressivism
is still rejected.
Why the sudden acceptance of progres-
sive principles of teaching and learning?
There has been no confession of error in
judgment by school authorities or the
public. The change of attitude had its
origin in survival anxiety. It was the
paralyzing fear which struck Americans
when Russian scientists launched their
satellites. As described by our most
imminent scientists, in launching the
satellites, the Russians demonstrated
technical know-how which many did
not believe possible one year ago. The
achievement, as our scientists saw it,
was a tribute to the Soviet educational
HI system of education which placed em-
: phasis on identifying talented students
\7-EDTVTrwT irrvAXTTrr and providing them unlimited oppor-
VERNON McDANIEL tun^ to exps|ojt thdr inteIleclua7ca.
The Stone Which In contrast, our lock-step system of
RuiMAvr Daia#Ia#I education stifled the talented by re-
bunaers Rejected quiring them to plod along with class-
The disciples of progressive education lma}e1s. Y^o w^r.ei. sh°rt on ability and
made valiant efforts to reform our lock- little possibility of mastering learn-
step educational system which required in& tas^s which involved imagination
bright students to plod along with medi- a creative abilities. This was the
ocre and dull classmates for sixteen years contention of progressives in their cam.
—from elementary school through col- Pa,«° t0 ,reform °u' lock-step educa-
lege. Such a system was proclaimed by fonal machinery Unfortunate y school
the progressive as unsound, undemo- authorities and the public could not be
• cratic; and unrealistic. Moreover, thev convinced, despite substantial statistical
contended that the lock-step system was and experimental evidence which pro-
impractical in that the learning activities Skives amassed and presented with
were most often geared to the pace of scholarly skill.
mediocre and dull students. Un^er the ,The seriousness of the present wor d
circumstances it was difficult, if not en- cr,sls e?,cl"des ^ exhil.rating I told
tirely impossible, to motivate bright stu- >T s°: Yet- studenls. of P^2|fessiv!
dents. As a result the brighter students edff"on ™Y exclaim: Why did
often dropped out of school after becom- " take us so long agnize that, in
ing bored with time-consuming drills
and busy work which required little or
no reflective thinking.
Though the progressives promoted a
well - organized propaganda campaign,
their efforts were in vain. School officials
turned deaf ears to their pleadings. The
public was not only indifferent but, even-
tually, succeeded in placing progressivism
While progressivism still lacks a cham-
pion for its cause among professional
educators and school authorities, there
are many who preach the same doctrine
heralded by early exponents of progres-
sive educators. In the press, on the radio
and TV, there are many who come forth
to plead for reformation of the lock-step
system. They insist that the academically
talented be identified and provided edu-
cational opportunity consistent with their
potentialities: "tailor-made and open-
ended courses," special classes and oppor-
^ tunity for creative work, liberally edu-
^ cated teachers who know both methods of
learning and teaching. These proposals
President C. Emerson Jackson attended
the North Texas Area Clinic in Fort
Worth, March 28. This Clinic was under
the direction of Dr. J. L. Brown, Prairie
View A and M College, who served as
He was also in attendance at the State
Principals' Association, at which Dr. John
Codwell, principal of Wheatley High
School, Houston served as consultant.
On April 15, at 11 a.m., President
Jackson will be the speaker at the open-
ing assembly of Bishop College's 77th
Founders' Week Anniversary. The theme
on which he will speak is "Bishop Col-
lege: A Testament of Faith." As an
alumnus, he will reminisce, but he will
also urge students to "face-up" to the
challenges of the day in the true Bishop
When the Texas Elementary Prin-
cipals' Annual Conference convenes at
Huston-Tillotson College, Austin, April
17-18, President Jackson will be there.
According to his present plans, he will
also attend the Natiolan Education Asso-
ciation Convention in Cleveland, Ohio,
Full reports of these meetings will be
carried in subsequent issues of your
perpetuating the lock-step program of
education, we were losing ground to
those we once thought to be hopelessly
behind in scientific know-how?"
(Continued from Page 2)
levels, making students ready for subject matter requirements in secondary
school and college.
3. Not to be complacent with mediocrity and strive to remove it wherever it
4. To accept our students as a definite part of our responsibility, that we
may be the best teachers they will ever have.
5. To improve our professional growth by in-service teacher training, attend-
ing clinics and schools at regular intervals where cultural ideas are ex-
changed, where knowledge is accumulated, results of testing procedures
take place, travel and converse with purpose.
Finally, if all of us move forward in a more effective way, and in larger
numbers, the administrators, counselors, teachers, parents, patrons and students
must come to recognize and plan for this changing social and economic order
with some kind of positive concepts for achieving and producing in these com-
petitive and perplexed times.
Our constitution was officially revised at the last Delegate Assembly, to meet
more adequately many of our situations. T. C. Calhoun and his committee are to
be commended for their diligent and efficient study and writing of the changes.
He will comment on some of the effective changes.
1. A SAVING TEACHER is a THRIFTY TEACHER, teach it.
2. A PROFESSIONAL TEACHER attends his association sessions . . . not
the corridor philosopher.
3. A CAREFUL TEACHER watches his socializing habits, teach it.
Here’s what’s next.
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McDaniel, Vernon. The Texas Standard, Volume 32, Number 2, March-April 1958, periodical, March 1958; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth193791/m1/3/: accessed December 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Prairie View A&M University.