Movement that took form in Europe and North America during the late 19th century as a reaction to the alleged narrowness and formalism of traditional education. A main objective was to educate the whole childthat is, to attend to physical and emotional as well as intellectual growth. Creative and manual arts gained importance in the curriculum, and children were encouraged toward experimentation and independent thinking. Progressive educational ideas and practices were most powerfully advanced in the U.S. by John Dewey. See also Summerhill School.
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