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For hirn, the task of the school was not simply to train appropriately skilled workers; he would not have been impressed with many of the themes of the 'Great Debate'. It was the school's role, rather, to 26 Beyond Progressive Education create the conditions in which the entire necessary fabric of modern society could be reproduced. The contemporary school did not do this. 'l1 To provide the cement, the immediate imperatives of industry - those of the 'soul-Iess monotony of the machine' - must be rejected.

The following two chapters look at the origins and development of these weaknesses. 2 Progressive education Progressive education is normally associated with activity in the classroom, and has thus been thought of mainly in connection with curriculum and with teaching method. This chapter tri es to consider progressive education more widely, to look not just at its pedagogy, but at its context, motivating philosophy and strategies for gaining influence - as weIl as examining the modifications that these have undergone in the course of time.

Thus, whereas Dewey's ideas and those of English progressivism employed similar terms, the meaning of these terms, as employed in 32 Beyond Progressive Education their different contexts, varied considerably. The connection between school and 'life' was in one case intended to create an understanding of social processes, but in the other only to serve as a new form of motivation and a more practical preparation for working life. This deradicalised employment of its central concepts became a characteristic of the relationship of English progressivism to state reform.

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