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Essays on Progressive Era

How to write a progressive era essay, choosing progressive era essay topics.

  • What specific aspect of the Progressive Era am I interested in?
  • How can I relate the topic to contemporary issues?
  • How can I use primary sources to support my argument?
  • How did Progressive Era reformers attempt to address the problems caused by industrialization and urbanization?
  • What were the most significant achievements of the Progressive Era, and what were its most significant failures?
  • How did Progressive Era reformers view the role of government in American society, and what kinds of reforms did they advocate for?
  • How did Progressive Era reforms affect the lives of ordinary Americans, particularly those who were marginalized or oppressed?
  • What was the relationship between the Progressive Era and other social and political movements of the time, such as suffrage and labor movements?

Writing a Thesis Statement

  • Addresses the prompt or the question you are answering
  • Provides a clear argument or perspective
  • Highlights the significance of your essay.

Conducting Research

Organizing your essay.

  • Introduction: Start with an attention-grabbing statement that contextualizes the Progressive Era and leads to your thesis statement.
  • Body paragraphs: Each paragraph should address a specific aspect of your argument and provide evidence to support it. You can use primary and secondary sources to support your argument.
  • Conclusion: Summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement. Offer some reflections on the significance of the Progressive Era and its relevance to contemporary issues.

Progressive Era Essay Examples

Prompt examples for progressive era essays, goals and reforms of the progressive era.

Discuss the goals and key reforms of the Progressive Era in the United States. What were the main issues and injustices that progressives sought to address, and how did they advocate for change?

Muckrakers and Investigative Journalism

Analyze the role of muckrakers and investigative journalism during the Progressive Era. How did journalists and writers like Upton Sinclair and Ida Tarbell expose social and political problems, and what impact did their work have?

Women's Suffrage Movement

Examine the women's suffrage movement as a significant part of the Progressive Era. How did women activists like Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul contribute to the fight for women's right to vote, and what were the challenges they faced?

Labor and Workers' Rights

Discuss the labor movement and efforts to improve workers' rights during the Progressive Era. How did labor unions advocate for better working conditions and fair wages, and what were the outcomes of their actions?

Environmental Conservation

Explore the conservation movement and its impact on environmental policy during the Progressive Era. How did figures like Theodore Roosevelt contribute to the preservation of natural resources and the establishment of national parks?

Legacy of the Progressive Era

Analyze the lasting impact of the Progressive Era on American society and politics. How did the reforms and changes implemented during this period shape the nation's future, and what lessons can be learned from this era?

The Different Changes in Effect During The Progressive Era

The main improvements made during the progressive era in america, made-to-order essay as fast as you need it.

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The Progressive Era: Woman Suffrage, African American and Immigration

The long term impact of the progressive era's changes in society today, major changes that impacted the united states in the progressive era, major achievements of the progressive era in america, let us write you an essay from scratch.

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Overview of The Major Problems During The Progressive Era

Review of the issue of constraints against progress of a society, the birth of the progressive era from the flaws of the gilded era, the contribution of booker t. washington during the progressive era, get a personalized essay in under 3 hours.

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United States

Trust-busting, Women's Suffrage, Initiative and Referendum, Spanish-American War

Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Evans Hughes, William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson

The Progressive Era with intense social and political reform aimed at making progress toward a better society across the United States of America that spanned the 1890s to the 1920s. During this period, reformers worked to improve American society and counteract the effect of industrialization. The main purpose of the movement was eliminating corruption in government. Many progressives were also concerned with the environment and conservation of resources.

Progressive Era movement targeted the regulations of huge monopolies and corporations, that was done through the Sherman Act of 1890, the Clayton Act of 1914, and the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914. The main purpose of the Progressive movement was the eliminating of corruption in government. The leaders of the era worked on the issues such as labor rights, women’s suffrage, economic reform, environmental protections, and the welfare of the poor, including poor immigrants.

Many Progressives supported prohibition in the United States in order to destroy the political power of local bosses based in saloons. In 1918, Congress passed the Eighteenth Amendment established prohibition of alcohol in 1920.

Between 1900 and 1915, more than 15 million immigrants arrived in the United States. The U.S. population nearly doubled between 1870 and 1900. By 1900, 30 million people, lived in cities.

The cause of women’s suffrage became a priority for many during the Progressive Era. American women finally achieved the right to vote with Nineteenth Amendment, ratified in 1920, that granted women the right to vote and forbade any suffrage restrictions based on gender.

The Progressive movement fractured after America’s entry into World War I.

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progressivism essay question

82 Progressive Era Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best progressive era topic ideas & essay examples, 📌 interesting topics to write about progressive era, 🔎 good research topics about progressive era, ❓ progressive era essay questions, 💯 free progressive era essay topic generator.

  • Race Relations During the Progressive Era The need to solve the problems led to the emergence of pro-reform groups. During this era, the American constitution was amended several times to accommodate the reforms.
  • The Importance of the Progressive Era Reforms The importance of the Progressive Era reforms is in providing a lot of possibilities for changing different aspects of the political, economic, and social life for the benefit of the US citizens with references to […]
  • The Progressive Era History The Progressive era in the United States which lasted from 1890 to 1920 was known for two things, namely that it was a period of progressive social movement and change that sought to reform many […]
  • Progressive Era in United States The progressives also rooted for the adoption of laissez-faire and formation of labor unions in face of high rate unemployment in order to improve the working conditions of the workers.
  • Gilded Age and Progressive Era Freedom Challenges They used that fact in their attempt to argue that the slavery of African Americans was natural as well and that it should not be abolished.
  • The Progressive Era in the United States The inequity and the deep class conflict were a result of monopolization, total domination of major businesses in the political life of the country, and their interpenetration with the government.
  • The Progressive Era in the US It is possible to single out a number of persons who can be regarded as symbols of the Progressive Era, symbols that contributed into development of particular areas in the US society.
  • The Progressive Era Significance The progressives also considered the minimal salaries for females, provided the industrial accident insurance and created the limitations for the child labor at the state level.
  • The Progressive Era and Its Technological Inventions Moreover, the period marked the shift from the agrarian to the urban society, and many critics referred to it as the age of reforms in American history.
  • The Progressive Era and World War I To achieve the intended goals, many progressives began by exposing the major evils and challenges that were affecting the United States towards the end of the 19th century.
  • Women’s Movement Connected to the Progressive Era The objectives of the movement converged at addressing problems that women faced at the time as part of promoting the ultimate agendas of the Progressive Era as discussed in the next section.
  • The Progressive Era in the United States History The Progressive Era in US history occurred in the early 20th century, between 1900 and 1918, and comprised of a number of attempts to implement social and economic reforms in the country, to tackle the […]
  • Lack of Unanimity Among Black Constituencies During the Progressive Era While Du Bois criticized Washington’s approach and proposed to demand civil rights immediately so that black people could become equal and proper citizens of the U.S.
  • Public Administration in the Progressive Era In the context of this video lies the idea that progressives fought for the rights of certain groups of people who were once deprived of them, the struggle for justice and for the eradication of […]
  • The History of Progressive Era in the US Progressivism it is a political movement supporting the ordinary people’s interests through their roles of consumers, employees, parents and citizens.
  • Progressive Era and Its Significant Interventions One of the most significant progressive interventions was the Nineteenth Amendment, through which American women got the right to vote. Besides, the right to vote guaranteed by the Nineteenth Amendment changed the social life of […]
  • America’s Progressive Era and World War I This paper will outline the events leading to America’s entrance into the war, the obstacles faced by the U.S.military, and the role of American women and minorities.
  • The Politics of Urban Reform in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
  • Political Discord in the Reactive Progressive Era
  • Academic Reform Thought in the Long Progressive Era
  • Dealing With the Class Gap During the Progressive Era
  • The Progressive Era’s Derailment of Classical-Liberal Evolution
  • Lessons Learnt From the Great Depression and Progressive Era
  • Comparing the Advancement Made in Progressive Era
  • American Progressive Era, From the 1890s to 1920s
  • How Did Theodore Roosevelt Contribute to the Progressive Era
  • Political Ideologies and Policies in the Progressive Era
  • Negative Aspects and Disadvantages of the Progressive Era
  • Federal Legislations During the Progressive Era
  • Effects of Food Regulation in the Progressive Era
  • Efforts for Social Reform by Muckrackers and Progressive Era
  • Education Reform Movements During the Progressive Era
  • Changes That Came About During the Progressive Era in the U.S.
  • Anti-semitism and Progressive Era Social Science
  • The Progressive Era and Amendments of the US Constitution
  • Curriculum Change From Common School Education Era to Progressive Era
  • African American Population During the Progressive Era
  • Progressive Era Success and Failures
  • How Empowered Women to Work in the Progressive Era
  • Progressive Era: The Era of Immigration, Race, and Women’s Rights
  • Positive and Negative Aspects of the Progressive Era and Their Consequences
  • Achievements During the Progressive Era
  • Overview of the Major Problems During the Progressive Era
  • Historical Turning Points Through the Period of the Progressive Era
  • Government During the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era
  • The Causes and Impacts of the Progressive Era
  • African-American History From Reconstruction Through the Progressive Era
  • Child Labor and the Progressive Era: 1900-1920
  • Childhood and Child Welfare in Progressive Era
  • Major Changes That Impacted the United States in the Progressive Era
  • Progressive Era Reformers: Regulation of Industry and Trust-Busting
  • Industrialization During the Progressive Era
  • Eugenics and Socialist Thought in the Progressive Era
  • The Long Term Impact of the Progressive Era’s Changes in Society Today
  • Political and Social Aspects of the Progressive Era in the USA
  • The Main Improvements Made During the Progressive Era in America
  • Women’s Suffrage Movement During the Progressive Era
  • What Is the Progressive Era Known For?
  • What Major Events Happened in the Progressive Era?
  • What Were the Progressive Era Reforms?
  • How Did the Progressive Era Affect the Economy?
  • What Was the Progressive Era Main Purpose?
  • What Was the Most Important Reform of the Progressive Era?
  • What Factors Led to the Progressive Era?
  • What Was the Greatest Accomplishment of the Progressive Era?
  • How Did the Progressive Era Lead to the Great Depression?
  • Did the Progressive Era Improve Society?
  • What Were the Main Goals and Beliefs of Progressives?
  • Why Did the Progressive Era End?
  • How Did the Progressive Era Help the Poor?
  • What Inspired the Progressive Era Movement?
  • Was the Progressive Era a Success or Failure?
  • Who Benefited the Most From the Progressive Era?
  • How Did Society Change During the Progressive Era?
  • What Was Life Like During the Progressive Era?
  • What Problems Were Solved by Progressive Era Reforms?
  • What Were Some Negative Effects of the Progressive Era?
  • How Did Government Change During the Progressive Era?
  • What Did the Progressive Movement Achieve?
  • What Was the Progressive Era Quizlet?
  • Was Progressive Era Successful?
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

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Home / Essay Samples / History / History of The United States

The Progressive Era Essay Examples and Topics

Positive and negative aspects of the progressive era and their consequences.

Progressive is when something is “happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step”. During the Progressive Era, there were social reforms, political issues, and a huge increase in immigration. The Progressive Era began in the 1890s and ended around the 1920s. The…

Positive Outcomes of the Progressive Era in the USA

The Progressive Era was a time of development of new reforms and changes in which society was bursting with enthusiasm to change America for good. Before the Progressive Era started, the nation had continued to struggle with issues surrounding basic rights and equality for different…

Negative Aspects and Disadvantages of the Progressive Era

Introduction The Progressive Era from 1900-1920 was not effective in bringing about true progressive reforms at the national level because it had been a slow process by the presidents co-opting the ideas of true progressives, limited trust-busting, which led to corporations expanding abroad, and continuous…

Political and Social Aspects of the Progressive Era in the USA

The Progressive Era is considered as the combination and interaction of a variety of different ideas and activities that emerged during the years of 1890 and 1920 as a consequence for needed new reforms by pressure groups in responding to various social, political, and economic…

Thinking Big: Progressive Era to New Era

The Progressive Era began because of the industrialization and urbanization of largely populated areas. The Progressive Era occurred during 1890’s to the 1920’s. The Progressive Era was a time where many reforms started to take place, to fix problems that were created because of industrialization…

Impact of the Age of Progress on the United States of America Today

The nineteenth century also labeled as The Age of Progress. From the era of reconstruction to the end of the nineteenth century, the United States endured an economic transformation. In this time period there was a substantial amount of development going on in this country….

A Rise of American Civilization in Early 20th

The Progressive Era of early 20th century America was a riveting age of mass reform motivated by the great social, economic, and political injustices being committed unto the common person. The Pioneers of the progressive movement came from many diverse backgrounds, with equally diverse opinions…

The Most Important Achievements of Progressive Era

The reformers of the Progressive Era were very effective against corrupt companies, monopolies, and bad laws. Under Theodore Roosevelt, the pure food and drug act and the meat inspection act were passed. Under Howard Taft, trusts were prosecuted twice as much. Under Woodrow Wilson, the…

How Women Played a Part in Social Dynamics in American Society During the Progressive Era

Social Dynamics and the Role of Women in the Progressive Era The role of women in American society during the Progressive Era years of 1870-1930 changed and expanded significantly. The genesis of this growth can be found as a series of steps of progression women’s…

Theodore Roosevelt and Others: Defining Which Progressive Leader Impacted American Society the Most

In the late 1800’s a rise in industrialism transformed American society dramatically with progress in technology, efficiency, and transportation. With this progress there came many benefits – more goods for consumers, more low skilled jobs, and opportunity for the middle class man to rise to…

Id Terms: Industrial Freedom, Sedition Act of 1918, Harlem Renaissance, Redlining and Others

Industrial Freedom During the Progressive Era, it was filled with labor activists, women organizations, and more. The main idea of the Progressive movement was to eliminate the corruption of the government. But many progressives feel like their freedom was being lost as work increased. Most…

The Progressive Era and Its Effects on the United States: an Analysis of Howard Zinn's and Paul Johnson's Views

Howard Zinn, Paul Johnson, and liberalists all have very different views of the Progressive era and its effects on the United States. Johnson, has a very conservative, republican take in which government should stay out and let the businesses, workers, and consumers work things out…

Question of Black Sexuality in the Progressive Era

In the past, black people had little to no access to proper health care. The Progressive Era American South was no exception. Healthcare professionals and scientists felt that there was an inherent divide between the races, and this divide was itself responsible for the disproportionate…

1869 - 1916

The Progressive Era, which started in the 1890s and lasted into the 1920s, was a progressive movement towards a political and social reform in the USA. The purpose was to use the power of the federal government to impose fair and ethical business practices within all states, reduce the negative social consequences of industrialization, and eliminate corruption.

During this period, laws for protecting consumers and workers were passed, and the government finally granted women the right to vote.

  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Julia Lathrop
  • Jane Addams

The movement was born from people’s frustration from the negative effects of urbanization, industrialization, political corruption, and immigration. The progressives mostly belonged to the middle class. They strived to achieve a more direct democracy, first targeting the corrupt representatives in office. Many of the progressives advocated for alcoholic beverages prohibitions. The reforms also affected churches, railroads, finance, medicine, public education, and other aspects of society.

There was a rapid growth of labor unions, which protected workers’ rights. Across the nation, the women movement pushed towards reforms in public health, child-saving, and women’s suffrage. There was a progress in the rule of citizenry over politicians, bosses, and circumvent machines.

The progressives stressed out major social issues, such as the brutal treatment of factory workers, unethical business practices, and women’s oppression. In general, a major social improvement was achievement during this era.

The progressives were guilty of promoting discriminatory policies, especially during the period of Wilson’s administration. This racial agenda segregated the federal government and enabled the Ku Klux Klan to revive itself.

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  • Child Labor , Progressive Era

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The Progressive Era was known as a large reform movement. The progressive Era was a period widespread social activism and political reform across the United States from the 1890’s to the 1920’s. The main objectives of the Progressive Era movement were eliminating problems caused by industrialization, urbanization, immigration and political corruption. Progressive reacted to problems caused by factories and cities. The progressive Era was effective because of child labor, working conditions and women’s suffrage.

Although the meat-packing industry created jobs for people, working in a meat-packing company was not the best job to have nor was it luxurious. The meat-packing factories were super unsanitary, unregulated and dangerous to people’s health. In “ The Neill-Reynolds Report” president Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 was suspicious of sinclair’s socialist attitude and concussion in “ The Jungle. ” The Jungle was a novel written by Sinclair to expose the working conditions in the meat-packing industry. He described the meat as diseased, rotten and contaminated.

After Sinclair’s novel “ The Jungle “ was written it changed the way Americans looked at the food industry. Americans no longer trusted that the food industry had the best interest of consumers in mind when they prepared or handled food. This shocked Roosevelt and led to new federal food safety laws. The novel served as a wake up call that led to a series of improvements in the industry to make our food safer and to provide better conditions for factory workers. . He sent labor commissioner’s Charles P. Neill and social worker James Bronson Reynolds to visit meat-packing facilities.

Neill and Reynolds were revolted from what they have seen and by the conditions at the factories. Meat scraps were found being shoveled into receptacles from dirty floor. Meat was left to lie on dirty floors. These floors were damp and soggy. Employees in utter ignorance of cleanliness or danger to health. Neill and Reynolds witness meat being shoveled from filthy wooden floors, piled on tables that were rarely washed. In all of which the meat was being process it was gathering dirt, splinters floor filth even expectoration of tuberculosis and other diseased workers.

Shocked at the fact that the lack of concern of the managers of these meat-packing facilities of being cleaned and properly maintain is so low. Tables and floors should be disinfected. All utensils being used should be and must be properly cleaned. All workers must use gloves and hair neets. Meat-packing factories should not have an issue with their maintenance because that is the main thing that should be taken care of. The meat in these factories is being sold to people, there should be no reason on why the meat is not properly processed and packaged. Americans should be able to trust the meat industry in the way there food is being handled and sold to them.

Although much of this has changed today such as how meat is processed now everything is much more sanitary and safer it still crazy to say all of these problems happened only a little over a century ago.

Another major factor in The Progressive Era were that influential journalist wanted to expose the government and big business of their flaws to American citizens with using factual and proven evidence against them. There was this one group of people who lead the change when it came to exposing the corruption in politics and the unsafe work conditions millions of American workers faced in American society. These people were called “ muckrakers. “ The name muckrakers was given to them by Theodore Roosevelt, they got this name because they would go and investigate everything that the American people should know about. They were early day investigative journalists.

Muckrakers were showing the American public just what was going on in the countries government and in the large companies that most of the people were buying their food and other supplies from. Also the use of children in the coal mines, or the monopoly of the standard oil company. These journalist just wanted to let the American citizens know the real deal behind big companies and their lack of work. The muckrakers, seek out the truth of corruption among the government.

Muckrakers did the right thing of letting the American people know what was going on in big companies and created public awareness of corruption, social injustices and abuses of power. They changed the perspective of how people would see big companies especially the meat companies. The best thing about the muckrakers is that they used actual factual and prove evidence so everything they told was absolutely beliveble.

In the Progressive Era factories were utilizing children to the hard work because of such young age they had more strength and power to do much more than the older people. They employed children as young age as five to six to work almost twenty hours a day. Child labor in the United States in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Families had to find someone to work or they wouldn’t survive so they got their young ones to work because they could work more hours and do more.

They had children doing work that was physically and mentally dangerous. They made them do work which interfered with there chance of going to school and learning. In “ The Spirit of Youth and The City Streets “ spoke about how children should not be employed at such young age. People wanted children to work for them supposedly to have a good mind set in working rather than getting an education. How should kids work before learning, that does them no good. Going to school will help their income-earning potential as adults. Jane Addams argues in “ The Spirit of Youth and The City Streets “ about the importance of providing practical education for young men and women. Jane Addams rejects that children should not work at such young age or will the children start to become a different person rather than typical children. Addams wanted what was right for children which was for them to go to school than work. She wanted to make sure children went to school to get their education than them going out and causing them selves danger at work. Many laws restricting child labor were passed as part of the progressive movement. Hammer vs. Dagenhart was a United States supreme court decision involving the power of Congress to enact child labor laws. In this case the supreme court wanted to band the shipment across state lines of goods made in factories by children that were employed under the age of 14.

Kids should not be able to have jobs as young as the age of fourteen because they’ll have to work harder and work long hours. Kids should be able to enjoy life and be in school or even be active in school activities. Kids at the age of fourteen or even younger should not have to worry about going to work .Their main priority should only be school and their grades. They should stay on task on their school work. If kids are going to be stress it should honestly be because of school not because of a job. They are way too young to stress over a job, there should be no need for that. Kids should have the chance to live and grow. The best time to start working is after school so, they can only have to worry about one thing at a time.

The Progressive Era witnessed the formation of initiatives to fight political and commercial corruption and find solutions to social problems in areas such as public health, labor and education. Although suffrage constituted just one part of the wider efforts of women reforms in the Progressive Era, it was considered symbolic of the broader struggle for the recognition of women’s rights.In the 1890’s Most states in Eastern and Central U.S held restrictions on voting for women, it was said that federal action in the form of a constitutional amendment would be first step in getting women the recognition as equal citizens. Congress then upheld the 19th Amendment in ninety-twenty.It gave women the right to vote and it ended the women’s struggle for equality and the beginning of a new era in human rights.

Women’s rights are so much better now, these rights include, to live free from violence, slavery and discrimination. Women are now given the chance to be educated, able to own property, to vote and to earn a fair equal wage. Women should always be treated as equal as men. A women makes no difference to a man both a man and women can both do the same. Women could always do the same job a man does probably even more and also do it better. Women should never be underestimated just because they are women. Never underestimate the power of woman. Woman will prove you wrong and work hard for what they want just like they did for their rights.Women have went through so much to get the rights they have now. Woman had no freedom what so ever. They couldn’t go out unless they were escorted by a man or their father. They could not be out in public without a man. Woman’s job where to stay home and take care of the family. The Progressivism implies a philosophy that promotes change or reform in the current political, economic,and social aspects of society while conservatism stresses gradual change in society but promotes tradition rather than change. The Progressive movement from 1901 through 1917 worked to improve aspects of society that grew out of problems which grew during the Industrial Age.

The goals of the Progressives were to stop monopolies, corruption, inefficiency and social injustices. Progressive acts and Amendments were being passed to deal with social ills, corruption in politics and corporate America. All the Progressive Era wanted to do was to make society better. To make everything fair towards everyone and one another. Wanted to fix all the problems and get rid of drama.

Before the Progressive Era the federal government became more involved and responsive to the public and implemented many revisions and reform. The federal government made political changes on a national level with the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Amendments. The Sixteenth Amendment imposed an income tax. The Seventeenth Amendment allowed for the direct election of U.S. Senators. The Eighteenth Amendment established the prohibition of alcoholic beverages and the Nineteenth Amendment prohibited any U.S. citizen from being denied the right to vote based on sex. During the Progressive Era, social reform and cultural changes also occurred. Consumerism was at an all time high. It became a time of economic prosperity. With the introduction of electricity came household appliances. Movies, automobiles, radios, telephones, magazines, and advertising were in the forefront. Radios were a huge change. Radios became a new way to help people communicate and even became new entertainment . Radios played all different kinds of music and even had talk shows. Radios also became a new way in staying in touch with news. People no longer had to read newspapers all they had to do was turn the radio on and listen.

The progressives were successful in part because they were able to rally the better part of a generation to their ideas about reform. Although not all progressives agreed with some progressive reforms the movement still made a big change. After the Progressive Era there was now active governments that would take the initiative in reform. There was now the right of labor to have a decent salary and safe working conditions to des who worked in big factories such as the meat industry. There has been more economic and political rights for women other than having the right to vote. Women could own property now. There has also been regulations of child labor in which kids should not work at such a young age and have to work long hours.

If there had not been no progressive era, no income would have been passed, it would have taken women longer to earn the right to vote, our meat for all we know would have dirt, wood shavings, even be contaminated with diseases from lying on the floor at the slaughterhouse. The progressive has done so much improvement to America and has helped many people. Without the progressive era i do not know what America would be like today.

America would have probably been worse today than it was before the progressive era if it wouldn’t had happened. Women would still not be able to vote nor get a job , kids would be working long hours instead of being in school, and our meat would be disgustingly dirty, the world would be upside down.

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6 Chapter 6: Progressivism

progressivism essay question

This chapter will provide a comprehensive overview of Progressivism. This philosophy of education is rooted in the 
 philosophy of pragmatism. Unlike Perennialism, which emphasizes a universal truth, progressivism favors “human experience as the basis for knowledge rather than authority” (Johnson et. al., 2011, p. 114). By focusing on human experience as the basis for knowledge, this philosophy of education shifts the focus of educational theory from school to student.

In order to understand the implications of this shift, an overview of the key characteristics of Progressivism will be provided in section one of this chapter. Information related to the curriculum, instructional methods, the role of the teacher, and the role of the learner will be presented in section two and three. Finally, key educators within progressivism and their contributions are presented in section four.

Characteristics of Progressivim

6.1 Essential Questions

By the end of this section, the following Essential Questions will be answered:

  • In which 
of thought is Progressivism rooted?
  • What is the educational 
 focus of Progressivism?
  • What do Progressivist 
 believe are 
 the primary 
 goals of schooling?

Progressivism is a very student-centered philosophy of education. Rooted in pragmatism, the educational focus of progressivism is on engaging students in real-world problem- solving activities in a democratic and cooperative learning environment (Webb et. al., 2010). In order to solve these problems, students apply the scientific method. This ensures that they are actively engaged in the learning process as well as taking a practical approach to finding answers to real-world problems.

Progressivism was established in the 
 mid-1920s and continued to be one of the most 
influential philosophies of education through the mid-1950s. One of the primary reasons for this is that a main tenet of progressivism is for the school to improve society. This was sup posed to be achieved by engaging students in tasks related to real-world problem-solving. As a result, Progressivism was deemed to be a working model of democracy (Webb et. al., 2010).

6.2 A Closer Look

Please read the following article for more information on progressivism: Progressive education: Why it’s hard to beat, but also hard to find.

As you read the article, think about the following Questions to Consider:

  • How does the author define progressive 
  • What does the author say progressive 
 education is not?
  • What elements of progressivism make sense, 
 according to the author? Progressive education: Why it’s hard to beat, but also hard to find

6.3 Essential Questions

  • How is a Progressivist curriculum best described?
  • What subjects 
 are included in 
 a Progressivist curriculum?
  • Do you think 
 the focus of this curriculum is beneficial for students? Why 
 or why not?

As previously stated, Progressivism focuses on real-world problem-solving activities. Consequently, the Progressivist curriculum is focused on providing students with real-world experiences that are meaningful and relevant to them rather than rigid subject-matter content.

progressivism essay question

Dewey (1963), who is often referred to as the “father of progressive education,” believed that all aspects of study (i.e., arithmetic, history, geography, etc.) need to be linked to materials based on students every- day life-experiences.

However, Dewey (1938) cautioned that not all experiences are equal:

The belief that all genuine education comes
 about through experience does not mean that
 all experiences are genuinely or equally 
 educative. Experience and education cannot
 be directly equated to each other. For some
 experiences are mis-educative. Any experience
 is mis-education that has the effect of arresting
 or distorting the growth or further experience (p. 25).

An example of miseducation would be that of a bank robber. He or she many learn from the experience of robbing a bank, but this experience can not be equated with that of a student learning to apply a history concept to his or her real-world 

Features of a Progressive Curriculum

There are several key features that distinguish a progressive curriculum. According to Lerner (1962), some of the key features of a progressive curriculum include:

progressivism essay question

  • A focus on the student
  • A focus on peers
  • An emphasis on growth
  • Action centered
  • Process and change centered
  • Equality centered
  • Community centered

To successfully apply these features, a progressive 
 curriculum would feature an open classroom environment. In this type of environment, students would “spend considerable time in direct contact with the community or cultural surroundings beyond the confines of the classroom or school” (Webb et. al., 2010, p. 74). For example, if students in Kansas were studying Brown v. Board of Education in their history class, they might visit the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka. By visiting the National Historic Site, students are no longer just studying something from the past, they are learning about history in a way that is meaningful and relevant to them today, which is essential in a Progressive curriculum.

progressivism essay question

  • In what ways have you experienced elements 
 of a Progressivist curriculum as a student?
  • How might you implement a Progressivist 
 curriculum as a future teacher?
  • What challenges do you see in implementing 
 a Progressivist curriculum and how might 
 you overcome them?

Instruction in the Classroom

6.4 Essential Questions

  • What are the 
 main methods of instruction in a Progressivist classroom?
  • What is the teachers 
 role in the classroom?
  • What is the students 
 role in the classroom?
  • What strategies do students use in a Progressivist classrooms?

progressivism essay question

Within a Progressivist classroom, key instructional methods include: group work and the project method. Group work promotes the experienced-centered focus of the Progressive philosophy. By giving students opportunities to work together, they not only learn critical skills related to cooperation, they are also able to engage in and develop projects that are meaningful and have relevance to their everyday lives.

Promoting the use of project work, centered around the scientific method, also helps students engage in critical thinking, problem solving, and deci- sion making (Webb et. al., 2010). More importantly, the application of the scientific method allows Progressivists to verify experi ence through investigation. Unlike Perennialists and Essentialists, who view the scientific method as a means of verifying the truth (Webb et. al., 2010).

Teachers Role

Progressivists view teachers as a facilitator in the classroom. As the facilitator, the teacher directs the students learning, but the students voice is just as important as that of the teacher. For this reason, progressive education is often equated with student-centered instruction.

To support students in finding their own voice, the teacher takes on the role of a guide. Since the student has such an important role in the learning, the teacher needs to guide the students in “learning how to learn” (Labaree, 2005, p. 277). In other words, they need to help students construct the skills they need to understand and process the content.

In order to do this successfully, the teacher needs to act as a collaborative partner. As a collaborative partner, the teachers works with the student to make group decisions about what will be learned, keeping in mind the ultimate out- comes that need to be obtained. The primary aim as a collaborative partner, according to Progressivists, is to help students “acquire the values of the democratic system” (Webb et. al., 2010, p. 75).

Some of the key instructional methods used by Progressivist teachers include:

  • Promoting discovery and self-directly learning.

progressivism essay question

  • Integrating socially relevant themes.
  • Promoting values of community, cooperation, 
 tolerance, justice, and democratic equality.
  • Encouraging the use of group activities.
  • Promoting the application of projects to enhance 
  • Engaging students in critical thinking.
  • Challenging students to work on their problem 
 solving skills.
  • Developing decision making techniques.
  • Utilizing cooperative learning strategies. (Webb et. al., 2010).

6.5 An Example in Practice

Watch the following video and see how many of the bulleted instructional methods you can identify! In addition, while watching the video, think about the following questions:

  • Do you think you have the skills to be a 
Constructivist teacher? Why or why not?
  • What qualities do you have that would make you 
 good at applying a Progressivist approach in the 
 classroom? What would you need to improve 

Based on the instructional methods demonstrated in the video, it is clear to see that progressivist teachers, as facilitators of students learning, are encouraged to help their stu dents construct their own understanding by taking an active role in the learning process. Therefore, one of the most com- mon labels used to define this entire approach to education today is: C onstructivism .

Students Role

Students in a Progressivist classroom are empowered to take a more active role in the learning process. In fact, they are encourage to actively construct their knowledge and understanding by:

progressivism essay question

  • Interacting with their environment.
  • Setting objectives for their own learning.
  • Working together to solve problems.
  • Learning by doing.
  • Engaging in cooperative problem solving.
  • Establishing classroom rules.
  • Evaluating ideas.
  • Testing ideas.

The examples above clearly demonstrate that in the Progressive classroom, the students role is that of an 
 active learner.

6.6 An Example in Practice

Mrs. Espenoza is an 6th grade teacher at Franklin Elementary. She has 24 students in her class. Half of her students are from diverse cultural backgrounds and are receiving free and reduced lunch. In order to actively engage her students in the learning process, Mrs. Espenoza does 
not use traditional textbooks in her classroom. Instead, she uses more real-world resources 
 and technology that goes beyond the four walls of the classroom. In order to actively engage 
 her students in the learning process, she seeks out members of the community to be guest 
 presenters in her classroom as she believes 
 this provides her students with an way to 
 interact with/learn about their community. 
 Mrs. Espenoza also believes it is important for 
 students to construct their own learning, so she emphasizes: cooperative problem solving, project-based learning, and critical thinking.

6.7 A Closer Look

For more information about Progressivism, please watch the following videos. As you watch the videos, please use the “Questions to Consider” as a way to reflect on and monitor your own learnings.

  • What are two new insights you gain about the 
Progressivist philosophy from the first video?
  • What is the role of the Progressivist teacher according to the second video? Do you think you would be good in this role? Why or why not?
  • How does Progessivism accommodate different learning styles? Give at least one specific example. What is the benefit of making this accommodation for the student?
  • Can you relate elements of this philosophy to 
 your own educational experiences? If so, how? 
 If not, can you think of an example?

Key Educators

6.8 Essential Questions

  • Who were 
 the key educators 
 of Progressivism?
  • What 
impact did 
 each of the 
 key educators 
 of Progressivism have 
 on this philosophy of education?

The father of progressive education is considered to be Francis W. Parker. Parker was the superintendent of schools in Quincy, Massachusetts, and later became the head of the Cook County Normal School in Chicago (Webb et. al., 2010). 
 John Dewey is the American educator most commonly associated with progressivism. William H. Kilpatrick also played an important role in advancing progressivism. Each of these key educators, and their contributions, will be further explored in this section.

Francis W. Parker (1837 – 1902)

Francis W. Parker was the superintendent of schools in Quincy, Massachusetts (Webb, 2010). Between 1875 – 1879, Parker developed the Quincy plan and implemented an experimental program based on “meaningful learning and active understanding of concepts” (Schugurensky, 2002, p. 1). When test results showed that students in Quincy schools outperformed the rest of the school children in Massachusetts, the progressive movement began.

progressivism essay question

Based on the popularity of his approach, Parker founded the Parker School in 1901. The Parker School

“promoted a more holistic and social 
 approach, following Francis W. Parker’s 
 beliefs that education should include the 
 complete development of an individual 
 (mental, physical, and moral) and that 
 education could develop students into 
 active, democratic citizens and lifelong learners” (Schugurensky, 2002, p. 2).

Parker’s student-centered approach was a dramatic change from the prescribed curricula that focused on rote memorization and rigid student disciple. However, the success of the Parker School could not be disregarded. Alumni of the school were applying what they learned to improve their community and promote a more democratic society.

John Dewey (1859 – 1952)

John Dewey’s approach to Progressivism is best articulated in his book: The School and Society

progressivism essay question

(1915). In this book, he argued that America needed new educational systems based on “the larger whole of social life” (Dewey, 1915, p. 66). In order to achieve this, Dewey proposed actively 
 engaging students in inquiry-based learning and experimentation to promote active learning and growth among 

As a result of his work, Dewey set the foundation for 
 approaching teaching and learning from a student-driven 
 perspective. Meaningful activities and projects that actively engaging the students’ interests and backgrounds as the 
 “means” to learning were key (Tremmel, 2010, p. 126). In this way, the students could more fully develop as learning would be more meaningful to them.

6.9 A Closer Look

For more information about Dewey and his views on education, please read the following article titled: My 
 Pedagogic Creed. This article is considered Dewey’s 
 famous declaration concerning education as presented in five key articles that summarize his beliefs.

My Pedagogic Creed

William H. Kilpatrick (1871-1965)

Kilpatrick is best known for advancing Progressive 
 education as a result of his focus on experience-centered 
 curriculum. Kilpatrick summarized his approach in a 1918 
 essay titled “The Project Method.” In this essay, Kilpatrick (1918) advocated for an educational approach that involves

“whole-hearted, purposeful activity proceeding in a social 
 environment” (p. 320).

progressivism essay question

As identified within The Project Method, Kilpatrick (1918) emphasized the importance of looking at students’ 
 interests as the basis for identifying curriculum and developing pedagogy. This student-centered approach was very 
 significant at the time, as it moved away from the traditional approach of a more mandated curriculum and prescribed 

Although many aspects of his student-centered approach were highly regarded, Kilpatrick was also criticized given the diminished importance of teachers in his approach in favor of the students interests and his “extreme ideas about student- centered action” (Tremmel, 2010, p. 131). Even Dewey felt that Kilpatrick did not place enough emphasis on the importance of the teacher and his or her collaborative role within the classroom.

progressivism essay question

Reflect on your learnings about Progressivism! Create a T-chart and bullet the pros and cons of 
 Progressivism. Based on your T-chart, do you 
 think you could successfully apply this 
 philosophy in your future classroom? Why 
or why not?

Media Attributions

  • Progressivism Quote © quotemaster.org
  • Dewey Curriculum © quotesgram.com
  • Action Centered © Photos for Class
  • Stop and Think © DWRose
  • Project Based Learning © Blendspace
  • Collaboration © photosforclass.com
  • Learning by Doing © PBL Education - WordPress.com
  • Francis W. Parker Quote © azquotes.com
  • School and Society © Amazon.com
  • The Project Method © Goodreads.com

To the extent possible under law, Della Perez has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Social Foundations of K-12 Education , except where otherwise noted.

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Progressivism the laudable efforts of.

When placed within a historical context, Progressivism was truly progressive for its willingness to embrace change while preserving human rights and social justice. Progressivism did not address all aspects of social justice and human rights, however. The movement failed to acknowledge racism and the abject failure of Reconstruction to have dealt with the legacy of slavery. Progressivism focused on urban issues often by neglecting the needs of Americans who still lived in rural regions. Moreover, many progressive politicians opposed liberal immigration policies and especially targeted aspiring immigrants not from Western Europe. Perhaps the most insipid manifestation of progressivism's ironic backwardness was the fact that many progressive leaders supported social Darwinian ideals and were outspokenly racist. Progressivism made great inroads in preparing the United States for its role as a world superpower. At the same time the movement revealed disturbing trends in the American consciousness that continue to plague the nation….

Progressivism the Early 20th Century

hile Roosevelt felt that the private sector, influenced by progressive ideas, could reform American society, ilson wanted a more active role by the government and feared that the private sector, or "the combined power of high finance would be greater than the power of the government." (ilson) on the other hand was the least radical of all the progressives discussed: Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt's idea of progressivism, discussed in the 1910 article "The New Nationalism," was a private sector that remained capitalist, but under the influence of the government. For instance, while ilson wanted to destroy monopolies, which he felt were undermining the capitalist system, Roosevelt wanted to regulate them for "the interests of the public welfare." (Roosevelt) During the 20th century, American society did not completely transform in the way that either Debs or Croly predicted it would, but vacillated back in forth between the progressive ideas of ilson and….

Works Cited

Croly, Herbert. "Progressive Democracy," Pearson Education, 1914. Web. 27 June 2012.

Progressivism Post Modernism Perennialism and Reconstruction

TESOL Weekly eflection I think that post-modern thought can be both good and bad (helpful and problematic) in terms of its impact on education today. For example, it can be helpful in the sense that it rejects or counters the modernist view (situated in the Enlightenment) that pure eason can find an answer to all life's mysteries (Knight, 2008). Post-modernism points out that humans are often irrational in their thoughts and actions and that the subjective experience of the person is really all anyone knows. While I disagree with this point that subjectivity is all anyone knows, I view it is a helpful way to counter the emphasis on pure eason. At the same time it can be harmful if it is allowed to displace objectivity and truth completely. The post-modern perspective suggests that there is no real truth or at least no real way to it. I think this is….

Haynes, C. (2009). Schools of Conscience. Educational Leadership, 66(8). Retrieved

from  http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may09/vol66/num08/Schools-of-Conscience.aspx 

Knight, G. (2008). Issues and alternatives in educational philosophy (4th

ed.). Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press.

The Outcomes of Progressivism

Progressivism flowered in the first two decades of the 20th century for a number of different reasons. First, there was a national pushback by the Populists against immigration (and the ethnic Europeans—i.e., Catholics—who were coming to America and bringing their non-Protestant views and behaviors with them). This led to a crackdown on “vice” such as drinking alcohol, which led to Prohibition (and, ironically, the rise of crime—bootlegging—among gangsters), and unjust working conditions. To be fair, the working conditions at the turn of the century were not great. As Chapter 22 shows, many workers faced conditions like these: “twelve-hour days in stifling, crowded workrooms, weekly paychecks of only $3 to $15, fines for the tiniest mistakes, deductions for needle and thread, even for electricity,” and so on (p. 593). Progressivism at home was thus a reaction against the ills of society—from corruption in politics (as seen in Tammany Hall in NYC)….

Rise of Progressivism the Battle for National Reform

targets of the "muckrakers" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries? How did the concept of "social justice" fit into these reform movements? Muckrakers were progressive journalists and authors who targeted corrupt capitalists, like the meat manufactures of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and the railroad owners of Sinclair's novel The Octopus. Also, cartoonists such as Thomas Nash targeted corrupt machine politicians, such as Tammany Hall's Boss Tweed, and photographer Jacob Riis took photographs of impoverished immigrants in urban tenements. Justice for the ordinary person against the machine, as both a laborer and an electoral voice was the conceptual impetus behind both of these branches of the muckraking movement's authors and graphic artists. How did the role of women begin to change during this time period? hat impetus helped to encourage this change? hy do you think it took so long for women's suffrage to be realized? It was argued that suffrage….

While the ratification of the 18th Amendment regarding Prohibition did not have a long-lasting effect in limiting alcohol, it did create a profoundly influential illegal economy in the nation regarding the transportation and sale of drugs. On a more positive note, electoral reform efforts such as the secret ballot and direct election of senators did enfranchise the common populace in a more hands on fashion, paving the way for civil rights legislation and empowering all politically excluded groups, such as women and Blacks, later on.

Teddy Roosevelt's phrase describing his foreign policy was "Speak softly and carry a big stick." How do you see this relating to America's foreign policy in 2005? In your opinion is this a legitimate style of foreign policy especially with global terrorism as a major issue?

Roosevelt's punitive and activist policy seems to be commensurate with current United States policy -- but not, unfortunately, his choice to speak softly, as American rhetoric regarding its desires to limit terrorism has often exceeded real American knowledge, such as Iraq's capacity to manufacture weapons of mass destruction.

Student Centered Teaching Progressivism Social

Now we have examined two extremes in educational thought that have developed over the past century. Teacher centered and student centered philosophies differ significantly in their approach to the student-teacher relationship. Teacher centered philosophy does not depend on the student's wants and needs at all. Teacher centered philosophy uses antiquated methods, such as rote learning. However, these methods are quickly being replaced by a more student-centered approach. Student centered approaches to learning are an important part of the new technologically advanced society. The following will explore the role of student-centered philosophies in the emerging technological tends Teaching Philosophies and the Changing Society The emphasis of essentialism and perennialism is on standardization and the learning of material. This style of learning is authoritarian and disciplinarian. The study is acted upon and has no choice or preference in the material or the method by which they choose to learn it. They are simply an….

Aretakis-Fredo, a. (2003).

Literacy Review. Retrieved June 14, 2007 from  http://ashleyfredo.tripod.com/Social%20Reconstructivism.htm .

Bagamery, B., Laslik, J.J., & Nixon, D.R. (2005). Determinants of success on the ETS business major field exam for students in an undergraduate multi-site regional university business program. Journal of Education for Business 81 (1), 55-59.

Bondy, a (1999) Visually us: Validating the curriculum for MA-ori students. Unpublished MEd thesis. VUW.

California Progressivism From Past to

("Progressives in Power," the California Historical Society, 2004) Next, the elected progressives enacted the first system of workers' compensation, which made employers liable for industrial accidents that harmed their workers. Employers had not been liable for this in the past. Before, injured workers were simply left to their own devices, so employers had no incentive to spend the money to help workers that their unsafe factories had maimed. The state legislature adopted an eight-hour workday for women in 1911, and, two years later, as the result of lobbying efforts by worker's rights progressive activist Katherine Philips Edson, the state legislature passed a law creating a minimum wage for women and child workers. ("Progressives in Power," the California Historical Society, 2004) The progressive rule in California also changed the structure of the state government. For the first time, Californians could directly create laws or constitutional amendments through a motion known as initiatives.….

Progressives in Power." The California Historical Association. 2004. [13 Oct 2006]  http://www.californiahistory.net/8_pages/reform_progressives.htm

Progressive Politics under Roosevelt and Wilson

Progressivism1One of the most notable changes was the introduction of antitrust legislation, which sought to break up monopolies and encourage competition. The Progressive Era also saw the passage of laws regulating child labor, as well as new regulations regarding working hours and conditions. Furthermore, Progressives pushed for greater transparency in business dealings, leading to the establishment of the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reforms helped to create a more level playing field for businesses, and ultimately led to a more robust economy.Also, big business was reformed through tariff and banking reforms initiated under Woodrow Wilson. For instance, the Federal Trade Commission Act in 1914 gave the federal government oversight of corporations. And the Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916 gave farmers access to low-rate federal loans so that they could compete with big businesses more fairly and not be pushed out of the market. Additionally, the Adamson Act of 1916….

Progressivism Education Has Played a

Jeffrey a. Daniels, C. Bradley, Daniel P. Cramer, Amy inlker, Kisha Kinebrew, and Deleska Crockett interviewed a counselor that dealt with a difficult hostage taking situation and talked the student involved into surrendering. Apparently, counselors are most qualified to deal successfully in this kind of situations. Article critiques," written by Susan Student, examines several papers by counselors who touch the relationship between man and computer, which is taking dramatic proportions. The article is written in order to make counselors more aware of their present situation and it is supposed to emphasize the responsibilities that counselors have. orks Cited Sullivan, J. Engeland, J. (2008). Educational Theories. Moyer, M. Sullivan, J. Student Risk-Taking Behaviors:hen Do School Counselors Break Confidentiality? Davis, T. Elementary and Middle Level Counselors' Courtroom Hearing. Daniels, a.J., Bradley, M.C., Cramer D.P., inkler, a., Kinebrew, K., Crockett, D. In the Aftermath of a School Hostage Event: A Case Study of One School Counselor's Response. Student, S. Article Critiques..

Sullivan, J. Engeland, J. (2008). Educational Theories.

Moyer, M. Sullivan, J. Student Risk-Taking Behaviors:When Do School Counselors

Break Confidentiality?

Davis, T. Elementary and Middle Level Counselors' Courtroom Hearing.

Era Can Be Considered to

Theodore Roosevelt in this sense tried to tackle the issue by intervening for the miners, for instance. However, an essential idea is related to the desire of the government to increase its power and intervention possibilities in order to better control the corporations that were created as a result of the industrialization process. These were sources of constant impoverishment for the population (Pease, 1962, 163-5). However, the population reacted in a different way than expected by the political actors. Indeed, from the point-of-view of the labor unions, their number increased and a certain collective mentality was formed, one which allowed them to further fight for the rights of the employee (Pease, 1962). Even so, there were individuals who reacted negatively considering that the Progressive Era was in fact a socialist perception of the economy, rather than a means to create progress for the population in the country. The forces which shaped….


Browne, Gregory M. The Progressive Era. N.d. 14 May 2008.  http://www.yorktownuniversity.com/documents/progressive_era.pdf 

Jenkins, P. A history of the United States. New York: Palgrave, 1997.

Pease, Otis. The Progressive Years: The Spirit and Achievement of American Reform. George Braziller. New York. 1962.

Warde, William F."The Rise and Fall of Progressivism." International Socialist Review, Vol. 18, No. 3, Summer 1957, pp. 83-88. Available at http://www2.cddc.vt.edu/marxists/archive/novack/works/1957/x01.htm

Motivated Progressives and How They Began to

motivated progressives and how they began to use the government as a moral agent for change and the impact of Progressivism upon society and government during the early decades of the 20th century. The central question that will be addressed will be to answer to what extent he Progressive Era was actually progressive. In particular, we will pay attention to the limits of progressive reforms in the history of the United States. Progressives fought for such issues as women's suffrage and better labor and health regulations (Rodgers, 1982, 115). Progressivism in America was a broad-based movement for reform that reached its apogee in the early 20th century. hile reformist in nature, it was middle class. It grew in response to the changes brought on by industrialism, modernization (for example the rise of the railroads) and corruption in American politics. Largely, it grew in response to tragedies such as the Triangle….

Muckrakers. (2011). Retrieved from  http://www.ushistory.org/us/42b.asp  .

Rosa, P. (2010). The triangle shirtwaist fire. Retrieved from http://www.historybuff.com/library/refshirtwaist.html.

Rodgers, D.T. (1982). The promise of american history. Reviews in American History,, 10(4), 113-132.

Era Theodore Roosevelt America's 26th

During the turn of the century, maverick muckraking journalists dug up dirt on unfair labor practices including the use of child labor. Muckrakers also drew attention to unsanitary working conditions and the lack of systematic health regulations in meat and food production. President oosevelt responded by initiating a series of labor-related legislation including the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. However, oosevelt at the same time publicly denounced muckrakers and lent them their derogatory name. oosevelt's passion for environmental conservation reflected his personal interests and beliefs more than it did the results of investigative journalism. Environmental conservation emerged as of the main issues that distinguished the progressivism of oosevelt and that of Wilson. Presidents oosevelt and Wilson transformed the role of the federal government in the United States. Both wielded their executive powers to protect the rights of the poor and working class, to abolish some of the powers of….

Theodore Roosevelt." AmericanPresident.org. Retrieved Oct 6, 2006 at http://www.americanpresident.org/history/theodoreroosevelt/

Theodore Roosevelt." Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct 6, 2006 at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Roosevelt 

Thomas Woodrow Wilson." AmericanPresident.org. Retrieved Oct 7, 2006 at http://www.americanpresident.org/history/woodrowwilson/

Woodrow Wilson." Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct 7, 2006 at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodrow_Wilson#Presidency_1913-1921

Public Museums

Progressivist Museums The progressivist philosophy of culture, which posits that advancements in science, technology, social, and economic development are crucial in the development of advanced societies, and that societies advance from a state of barbarism toward a more civilized state, is evident in the modes of display of some of the most popular museums in the world. These museums, The Louvre in Paris, Pitt Rivers in Oxford, and the Smithsonian in D.C., use the progressivist ideology to promote both a cultural theory and a strident nationalism rooted in the belief that its citizens are advancing towards the promise of a better tomorrow. This paper will show how these museums do so. As Andrew McClellan states, "the public for art is diverse and divided by interests and levels of knowledge." Appealing to and uniting these diverse interests is what a progressivist museum must do in order to guide its public to its cultural goal.….

Coombs, Annie E. "Museums and the Formation of National and Cultural Identities."

Oxford Art Journal, vol. 11, no. 2 (1988): 57-68.

McClellan, Andrew. "A Brief History of the Art Museum Public." Art and Its Publics.

Oxford: Blackwell, 2003.

Women's History

Women's History The passing of time does not necessarily denote progress: women made little noticeable social and economic advancement and almost no political or legal advancements between the European settlements of Jamestown in 1607 until the end of the Reconstruction era in 1877. In fact, most Native American women lost a considerable degree of power and status due to the imposition of European social values on their traditional cultures. African women, brought to the New World against their will and in bondage, likewise did not enjoy the fruits of social progress. White women of European descent, however, did make some progress over the course of more than two centuries of early American history. Divorce laws became more favorable toward women, who over the course of these few centuries were increasingly able to extricate themselves from violent, abusive, or unsatisfying unions. However, divorce laws were one of the only legal progress women….

Education Philosophical Influences on American

There are others though that believes that learners are born with certain innate capabilities that are then shaped and formed from the outside (Montessori theory, 2011) No matter which theory one looks at though the bottom line is that each philosophy is based on the idea that everything possible should be done to encourage as much learning as possible. All philosophies are based on the fact that education should be about learning and that no matter how the learning takes place, what environment is takes place in or under what circumstances the edn result should be something was learned. Educational philosophy in general believes that in order for people to be successful and productive they must learn as much as possible and that this should be done by way of formal education. eferences Chinn, C. (2012). Epistemological Beliefs. etrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/epistemological-beliefs/ Evers, W.M. (2012). How Progressive Education Gets it Wrong. etrieved from http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/6408 Gray,….

Chinn, C. (2012). Epistemological Beliefs. Retrieved from  http://www.education.com/reference/article/epistemological-beliefs/ 

Evers, W.M. (2012). How Progressive Education Gets it Wrong. Retrieved from  http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/6408 

Gray, P. (2009). Rousseau's Errors: They Persist Today in Educational Theory. Retrieved from  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/200902/rousseau-s-errors-they-persist-today-in-educational-theory?page=2 

Jean-Jacques Rousseau on nature, wholeness and education. (2012). Retrieved from  http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-rous.htm


American History

When placed within a historical context, Progressivism was truly progressive for its willingness to embrace change while preserving human rights and social justice. Progressivism did not address all aspects…

hile Roosevelt felt that the private sector, influenced by progressive ideas, could reform American society, ilson wanted a more active role by the government and feared that the…

TESOL Weekly eflection I think that post-modern thought can be both good and bad (helpful and problematic) in terms of its impact on education today. For example, it can be…

Progressivism flowered in the first two decades of the 20th century for a number of different reasons. First, there was a national pushback by the Populists against immigration (and…

targets of the "muckrakers" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries? How did the concept of "social justice" fit into these reform movements? Muckrakers were progressive journalists and…

Now we have examined two extremes in educational thought that have developed over the past century. Teacher centered and student centered philosophies differ significantly in their approach to the…

("Progressives in Power," the California Historical Society, 2004) Next, the elected progressives enacted the first system of workers' compensation, which made employers liable for industrial accidents that harmed their…

Progressivism1One of the most notable changes was the introduction of antitrust legislation, which sought to break up monopolies and encourage competition. The Progressive Era also saw the passage of…

Research Proposal

Jeffrey a. Daniels, C. Bradley, Daniel P. Cramer, Amy inlker, Kisha Kinebrew, and Deleska Crockett interviewed a counselor that dealt with a difficult hostage taking situation and talked the…

Theodore Roosevelt in this sense tried to tackle the issue by intervening for the miners, for instance. However, an essential idea is related to the desire of the…

motivated progressives and how they began to use the government as a moral agent for change and the impact of Progressivism upon society and government during the early…

During the turn of the century, maverick muckraking journalists dug up dirt on unfair labor practices including the use of child labor. Muckrakers also drew attention to unsanitary working…

Art  (general)

Progressivist Museums The progressivist philosophy of culture, which posits that advancements in science, technology, social, and economic development are crucial in the development of advanced societies, and that societies advance…

Women's History The passing of time does not necessarily denote progress: women made little noticeable social and economic advancement and almost no political or legal advancements between the European settlements…

There are others though that believes that learners are born with certain innate capabilities that are then shaped and formed from the outside (Montessori theory, 2011) No matter which…

Progressivism In Education Essay

progressivism essay question

Show More Progressivism is the belief that education should focus on the whole child, rather than on the content or the teacher. This philosophy and its tenets are based on the idea that the child should be free to develop naturally and learning is based on experiences. This is to promote students to become better citizens, according to John Dewy one of progressivism key figures. Progressivist believe that coursework should be relevant to “real life”. It should be considered useful. Another main point in this philosophy is that the focus should be on how to learn and not what to learn. So progressivism is where the child is the center of gravity of the classroom, this means that instead of focusing on the teacher or the curriculum the focus should be on the individual child’s needs. So if a student is struggling with one subject, but the teacher wants to move on to a different topic then that teacher will have to make sure the student understands the first topic before he/she can move on. I really believe this philosophy to be one that I will draw a lot of what I do in the classroom from. I know I will use other philosophies of time because it would be hard to be a strict progressivist in every classroom because to focus on every child’s needs you would need a small class size and that is …show more content… After reading the PowerPoint on progressivism and reading the attacks from the perennials and from progressivism I just feel that progressivism is more of what today’s society is about and for a child to get the best out of education then the teacher needs to teach what is relevant to society and to the student’s needs. This is best done with the progressivist philosophy because of the tenet to focus on the child’s needs and the whole child. It also focuses on how to learn rather than what to learn, which a student will need to know how to do in

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Progressivism Reflection

Ps220 unit 9 assignment.

In the beginning period of life from birth throughout childhood, childhood to adolescence, and adolescence to adulthood enormous changes take place. Throughout the process, each person evolves into attitudes and morals that guide decisions, relationships, and understanding. This document will focus on birth through age 2. This is considered the crucial stage. This is the stage where all development begins and the specific markers will take shape.

Explain The Factors Which May Affect Children And Young People's Development

Having the right knowledge, skills and experience in understanding how children or young people develop are very important tools for early years practitioners. We must put to mind that each child born into this world is unique. Children are born with different characters, their personalities and behaviours are formed and influenced by a variety of factors. These factors may affect their ways of interacting with the environment and community or setting in which they live in.

Lifespan Development Theme

Several themes are demonstrated in the course of lifespan development. Although each child develops individually, common themes can be seen throughout the development. The following are explanations of four universal themes of human development, including the continuity-discontinuity issue, nature versus nurture, the active-passive issue, and the development across domains issue, and how my personal experiences relate to the understanding of each theme. Early Development is Related to Later Development but Not Perfectly Shaffer and Kipp (2010) describe a pervasive theme in lifespan development, in which our early development during infancy and childhood correlates to how we later develop as adults, known as the continuity-discontinuity issue.

Developmentally Appropriate Practice Essay

Through this knowledge, the teacher can presume how children of a particular age group will act, what they are capable of doing and what they are not likely able to do. Consequently, the teacher can devise activities rather confidently by taking all these aspects into consideration. At this stage, the teacher can take advantage of the windows of opportunity for the child’s growth. In other words, the teacher benefits from the sensitive period of a child’s development to provide him with enriching activities; the best period for the child to learn and develop further. In addition, what the children learn should be relevant to their environment and life experiences.

Summary Of John W. Santrock's Life-Span Development

Throughout this whole semester there has been many important concepts about the development of life and how we can analyze the growth of one’s mind after birth. Psychologists make these observations closely in order to have a better understanding of how individual’s mindsets process information. In the textbook “Life-Span Development, 15th Edition” by John W. Santrock, he elaborates on how the brain works in different stages of life. For each stage of life there are different components to how the brain and the human body function properly. In chapter five of the book it talks about the cognitive development in infancy and how through this stage infants are starting to explore.

Essay On Early Childhood Intervention

In the contemporary times, great importance is given to the significance of early years of a child’s life. It is widely acknowledged now-a-days that the early childhood years are a predominantly receptive phase in the developmental process. This stage is responsible to lay a foundation in early days and later years for cognitive functioning, learning process, physical wellbeing, and self-regulatory capacities in both personal and social lives. In simple words, “the period from birth to age 5 is one of opportunity and vulnerability for healthy physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development” (Karoly, Kilburn & Cannon, 2005). However, it is also a fact that many children go through several stressors during their developmental years due to which their healthy development may be impaired.

Differentiation Theory In Learning

Differentiation, with respect to instruction, means tailoring it to meet individual needs of the students. Teachers can differentiate content, process, products, or the learning environment, the use of ongoing assessment and flexible grouping makes this a successful approach to instruction. Teachers differentiate the four classroom elements based on student readiness, interest, or learning profile. (Tomlinson 2000). Differentiated instruction can be known as an organizing framework in teaching and learning which calls for a major restructuring in the classroom and syllabus, if done in the proper way, its benefits will transgress the costs.

Examples Of Idealism In Education

Pictures, concrete objects, are appropriate methods that are used on classroom as teaching aids. Field trips, computers, calculators are also used as realists method of teaching. Education should pass on, confirmed and the organizational structures which give importance to those truths. As with the idealists’ planned task for parents, realists expect parents to give in their children to teachers, as instructors better comprehend the reality and the techniques that are vital for better comprehend the reality. Those who understand the laws which administer noticeable phenomena.

Exploring The Metaphor Of Scaffolding In Teaching And Learning

Through this activity, the teachers assure that the learners are able to participate fully in the curriculum. As the supports given by the teacher the learners allow them to transfer their skills and knowledge to

Factors Affecting Child Development

Having the right knowledge, skills and experience in understanding how children or young people develop are very important tools for early years practitioners. We must put to mind that each child born to this world is unique; they are born with different characters and their personalities and behaviours are formed and influenced by variety of factors. These factors may affect their ways of interacting to the environment and community or setting in which they live in. In my experience as a child care practitioner most of the time, adults mainly focus on the physical development of a child and so quick to base their conclusion or judgement on the physical aspect.

Saber Tooth Curriculum Summary

Sadker & Sadker (2017) believes that, “behind every school and every teacher is a set of related beliefs--a philosophy of education--that influences what and how students are taught. A philosophy of education represents answers to questions about the purpose of schooling, a teacher's role, and what should be taught and by what methods” (Chapter 9). I seek to adopt the progressivism approach. Progressive education rejects traditional education as it is child-centred and not subject-centred (Reedy, 2017). My Philosophy of education requires me to ask myself questions on why do I teach, what do I teach and how do I teach.

Personal Reflection On The Purpose Of Education

It is my goal to make sure students are not just memorizing facts, but are actually understanding. They should be able to take the lesson and apply it to other areas of their lives. I believe students need to be assessed frequently and routinely. The students need accurate and effective feedback, so they can make any necessary adjustments.

Freud And Erikson Similarities

Introduction This essay is based on the comparison of psychosexual theories of Sigmund Freud and psychosocial theory of Erik Erikson. In this essay, similarities and the differences between these two theories are explained and outlined. The two famous theories of development are Sigmund Freud's psychosexual theory and Erik

Sigmund Freud's Contribution To Child Development

Child development is an area of significant interest to professionals who deal with children on a daily basis. It is through child development theorists and their theories that we begin to form an understanding of how children develop emotionally and socially to become fully grown adults in society with a moral and emotional compass/. Teachers need to study child development in order to provide developmentally appropriate educational experiences for children. Health professionals also need to understand this area to support children in their physical, social, emotional and cognitive journey to becoming functioning adults in society. Childhood is a concept that is affected by social context and also by history. Here in the West childhood was not always considered to be a fundamental developmental phase in life with children in Victorian times working from as early as the age of four.

Compare And Contrast Reggio Emilia And Montessori Education

Based in the NAEYC standers: Reggio Emilia approach supports a Child Approach in that a child’s image is viewed as having rights and not just needs, child has been viewed as beautiful, competent, powerful, curious, creative as well as full of ambitious desires and potentials, supports children’s individual differences and needs, documentation that Reggio teachers collect about their students, and mix of long- and short term projects which provide students with a deeper understanding of the subject matter. While in Montessori standers include mission and vision: The school’s vision is consistent with the Montessori philosophy of facilitating the student’s development of full potential, governance, leadership, and continuous, improvement:

More about Progressivism Reflection

Related topics.

  • Developmental psychology


Essay about Progressivism

Comparing the approaches of the progressive and populist movements.

The Progressives made great efforts to solve the political problems that industrialization and urbanization were causing. They tried to wipe out political corruption by limiting power to big companies/ bosses and reduce the control of political machines. Many of the progressive reforms also supported the railroad legislation, conservation movement, and food and drug laws. This also included efforts to protect society by initiating prohibition and they also extended suffrage to women. The progressives succeeded at keeping the power of the railroad industry in the hands of the governments but failed at protecting the states right to control businesses. Finally in 1890 the first federal law was passed against monopolies known as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

The Progressive Era - Liberal or Conservative

During the latter part of the nineteenth century, presumably around the 1890's, it became known as the Progressive Era, a time of change, reform, and adaptation. As Vernon L. Parrignton put it, it was a "democratic renaissance" (Vernon L. Parrington in The Progressive Movement: Liberal or Conservative). So what was Progressivism? Well, its main goals were to curb corporate power, to end business monopolies, and to wipe out political corruption. They also wanted to democratize electoral procedures, protect working people, and bridge the gap between social classes. They called for reforms such as the referendum, initiative, and the recall. They wanted the Americanization of the immigrant and the

Anti-Progressive Vs Anti Progressive Essay

The 1900’s were a time of widespread social and political unrest in America. During this time, many Americans adopted new ideas which were completely different than previous traditional values. These new views were considered more modern and progressive. Some of these values were accepting diverse cultures, city lives, bigger communities, individuality, becoming wealthy, and throwing out the old and replacing it with the new. Not everyone supported the ideas of the Progressive Movement, however. Those who opposed the new ways of thinking were known as the Anti-Progressives. Anti-Progressives preferred traditional, rural lifestyles, and a slower, simpler way of living. The Anti-Progressives were also against immigration and integration. They held on to racist beliefs. The differences led to constant tension between the Progressives and the Anti-Progressives. The tensions between the two ideologies were reflected in American drama, political cartoons and silent films of that era.

Industrialization and Immigration Essay

     As the nation came to grips with what mechanization had done to the labor force, the progressivists took an active approach to correct problems they encountered. They began a tax on corporations (612). Roosevelt was troubled by the threat posed by big businesses to competitive markets (615) and showed disdain for those who sought profit by betraying the public (613). They aimed to strip power of the employers and sought to advance the undermined working

Woodrow Wilson 's Progressive Era

Along with this, Wilson had also enacted a second antitrust measure called the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914. The act allowed for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “...to investigate possible violations of regulatory statutes, to require periodic reports from corporations, and to put an end to a number of unfair business practices,” (The Americans 333). This act was also taken well by the public and allowed for the ceasing and desisting of over 400 cases of illegal activity, proving Wilson to be a positive impact in the political aspects of society.

The West Virginia Coal Wars: Storming Heaven by Denise Giardina

Eventually, the workers of American Coal, who were once the landowners of the very area they were mining, formed a labor union to fight for better working conditions. The union was met with great opposition by the company’s secret police. As time went on, the coal miners continued to fight for their rights, only to be put down violently by the coal company’s strikebreakers. Union leaders were also fired and blacklisted from the company as a means to put a stop to union activity.

The New Deal: Radical Policies towards a Conservative Goal

In his inaugural address, President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the tone for the upcoming half century when he confidently said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. In response to the economic collapse of the Great Depression, a bold and highly experimental fleet of government bureaus and agencies known as Roosevelt’s Alphabet Soup were created to service the programs of the New Deal and to provide recovery to the American people. The New Deal was one of the most ambitious programs in American history, with implications and government programs that can still be seen to this day. Through its enactment of social reform and conservation programs, the New Deal mounted radical policies that gave the federal government unprecedented power in the nation’s economy and society, however, the New Deal did not bring America out of the Great Depression and could be considered conservative in the context of the era, ultimately saving capitalism from collapsing in America.

Roosevelt a Liberal and Hoover a Conservative Essay

The political shifts in American history during the last two centuries are often explained by Arthur Schlesinger's cyclical explanation of eras of public purpose followed by private interest. What is considered liberal versus what is considered conservative shifts in a similar pattern. While laissez-faire policies are considered liberal in the Roaring 20's, the onset of the Great Depression in

The Progressive Era Of The Revolutionary Era

21.2). How did the goals and reform agenda of the Progressive Era manifest themselves during the presidential administrations of Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson?

Essay about Theodore Roosevelt's Square Deal

  • 5 Works Cited

Theodore Roosevelt may be one of the most powerful presidents that attacked Trusts1 and corporations to make them just so that everyone could prosper. Thayer, a friend of Roosevelt wrote, ". . .he took the deepest personal satisfaction in fighting the rich and the soulless corporations. . ." (Thayer). This led into the 1920's a prosperous decade in which people received "new money." Theodore Roosevelt stressed more for people to be responsible than to be autonomous, or, in other words, to help others besides helping yourself. He was able to bring two separate groups together to make a better America. He brought the Trusts that wanted the government to stay away and then the other side

The Role Of Teddy Roosevelt In The Progressive Era

Progressivism originated as the optimistic vision that society was capable of improvement, and that continued growth and advancement were the nation's destiny. This, however, would require direct, purposeful human intervention in social and economic affairs. Progressive reformers wished to limit the disperse authority and wealth by empowering the government to regulate or break up trusts at both state and national levels. They also believed in the importance of social cohesion. Individuals were not autonomous; rather they are each part of a great web of social relationships. Therefore they pushed for reforms to help women, children, industrial workers, immigrants, and even African Americans to

Essay on To what Extent the Progressive Movement was Successful

In the beginning of the twentieth century, the economy was booming, new technology flourished. The rapid industrialization brought achievement to the United States, however, it also caused several social problems. Wealth and power were concentrated in the hands of a few, and poverty and political corruption were widespread. As people became aware of these problems, a new reform group was created. Unlike populism, which had been a group of farmers grown desperate as the economy submerged into depression, the new reform movement arose from the educated middle class. These people were known as the progressives. The Progressive Movement was a movement that aimed at solving political, economic, and social problems. The Progressives were people

Sidney Milkis Argues That. Fdr And His New Deal Coalition,

FDR’s New Deal programs greatly expanded the size, scope, and power of the federal government, giving the President and his Brain Trust near-dictatorial status. “I want to assure you,” Roosevelt 's aide Harry Hopkins told an audience of New Deal activists in New York, “that we are not afraid of exploring anything within the law, and we have a lawyer who will declare anything you want to do legal.” FDR was faced with the same difficult position of putting words into action. The establishment machine forges a “coalition of progressives that were divided into two parties” (54).

Essay on The Progressive Reformers

Reform was the goal of the Progressive movement, and with that in mind the reformers had great success. Progressive reformers were made up primarily of middle class men and women whose two main goals were to limit the trusts and to improve conditions of life and labor. These people were part of both political parties at the time, as well as in all regions of the country, and in all levels of the government. They wanted to remove bribed members of the legislature so that just laws and regulations were made that would benefit the people rather than the power-hungry corporations. This major movement altered all aspects of life creating a better living and working environment for people. The Progressive Era reformers and federal

Essay On Theodore Roosevelt's Impact On Social Reform

The ascension of Theodore Roosevelt to the presidency impacted America in terms of bringing about meaningful reform. Acts such as the Forest Reserve Act, Meat Inspection Act and the Square Deal helped to reform America. Roosevelt first started by exposing corruptions itself, nicknaming the reform minded journalists Muckrakers. Their job was to write articles that exposed the corruption in America. The major deal that helped reform America was the Square Deal.

Related Topics

  • Progressive movement
  • Social welfare
  • American citizens
  • Political leaders
  • Various forms
  • Government regulation

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Free Progressivism Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Politics , Government , Sociology , Challenges , Law , Economics , Role , Nature

Published: 02/20/2023


Progressivism philosophy is of the view that improvements in the economy, research, and development, as well as the social organization, are important elements in improving humanity and the conditions in which humanity lives.

The role of government

Progressives saw the role of government not as political but administrative. For that reason, its expansion was necessary to enable it to deal with the social and economic challenges that the people faced at the time (Dewey, 39). Some of the challenges that arose in the late 19th century include increasing inequality due to the rise of capitalism and frequent conflicts between workers and owners of means of production. Progressivism was against social Darwinism, which capitalism seemed to espouse, as it was a seen as a process in which progress is achieved through creative destruction (Dewey, 40). Progressivism was, however, of the view that it would be possible to attain good for all of the humanity through the provision of education, security and employment. It could only be achieved through an expanded government. An expanded government would be responsible for breaking of corporate trusts that were responsible for the economic and social challenges through federal regulations (Pestritt).

B. Naturalism

Naturalism is the belief that the laws of nature are superior and should form the basis for guiding humanity. That was the case with America’s Declaration of Independence. The constitution was seen as the only means to an end by the founding fathers of the nation. It is this belief that progressivism seeks to counter by arguing that rather than being guided by natural law we should be guided by historical progress. It encourages responding to challenges in a pragmatic manner. Progressives, therefore, attack the constitutional theory and the political-economic structure that is espoused by it (Pestritt). The argument is that the constitution was formulated as a response to the challenges that faced the society at the time and would, therefore, not be effective in addressing emerging challenges. Naturalists are of the view that human beings are born with certain inherent rights provided by nature, and the role and size of government should be limited to allow people space to practice these freedoms. However, prominent progressives - such as Wilson Woodrow - argued that we should not be bound by the doctrines of the Declaration of Independence merely for the sake of it and that in fact government and the declaration of independence are live organisms hence not stuck in time and should therefore adapt to changing situations in the society (Pestritt). C. Modern Liberalism Just as is the case with classical liberalism, modern liberalism espouses the tenets of liberty of justice; however, modern liberalists are of the view that the government plays a critical role in addressing economic and social challenges facing the society (Dewey, 41). For that reason, most modern liberalists see themselves as progressives. Its idea of social justice is one in which there is a mutual understanding on the formulation of individual rights and collectively defined roles of the state and each individual, which implicitly expands the role of government to facilitate increased voting and public participation. Modern liberalism was a fervent proponent of labor unions that were seen as a tool to protect workers’ rights in the face of corporate greed. Liberty could only be achieved through conducive economic and social conditions. These conditions could only be achieved through the existence of an intervening agent - in this case, the government.

Works Cited

Dewey, John. Liberalism and social action. New York, NY: Prometheus books, 2000 Pestritt, Ronald. “Progressivism and America's tradition of natural law and natural right" nlnrac.org, 2016 accessed [14 Mar, 2016], http://www.nlnrac.org/critics/american- progressivism


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Guest Essay

American Elections Are About Abortion Now

progressivism essay question

By Tom Bonier

Mr. Bonier is a Democratic political strategist and the senior adviser to TargetSmart, a data and polling firm.

With two election cycles after the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization under our belts, it cannot be denied: Abortion rights are the dominant issue in American politics. And when supporters of abortion rights — a clear majority of Americans — see a connection between their votes and protecting what was once guaranteed by Roe v. Wade, they are more likely to vote.

With a second Trump term possibly hanging in the balance in next November’s election, these are lessons Democrats must seize.

Abortion rights won big on Tuesday night. In Ohio, a constitutional amendment enshrining protections for abortion rights was on the ballot, and in Virginia, control of both chambers of the state legislature was considered a tossup, and both parties made abortion rights the central issue of their campaigns. The pro-abortion-rights measure in Ohio passed by a wide margin . In Virginia, the Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, made his proposal for a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy the central argument for electing Republicans in the state legislature. Republicans failed to win back control in the Senate and lost their narrow majority in the House of Delegates as turnout surged to historically high levels in key swing districts.

Before this week’s elections, most of the attention of the political class and the public was focused on national polls showing Donald Trump holding a lead over President Biden in the 2024 presidential contest. But it is now clearer than ever that the backlash against the Dobbs decision — and voters’ general distaste for strictly limiting abortion access — could play a crucial role in winning Mr. Biden a second term. Certainly, there will be many other major issues at play in this election, including war and voters’ perceptions of the economy. But abortion could plausibly be the deciding factor next November.

Mr. Trump’s narrow lead in recent polls is largely due to Mr. Biden’s underperforming with younger voters and voters of color relative to his support levels in 2020. While there is evidence that these polls overstate the risk to the president’s coalition, perhaps more important, these voters have proved over the course of the past year that they are highly mobilized by abortion rights and will provide strong support to candidates who share their position on the issue. By analyzing the individual-level turnout data from post-Dobbs elections, we know that women and younger voters are most likely to be inspired to vote when they see an opportunity to defend abortion rights and that this coalition is broad and diverse, including a large segment of voters of color.

To date, the post-Dobbs political battles have been fought almost exclusively at the state level. Republicans in Congress, with control of the House of Representatives, have shown little appetite for passing a federal ban, saying the issue is best left to the states to decide. The implausible path for such legislation through a Democratic majority in the Senate, not to mention a certain veto from Mr. Biden, has spared the Republican majority in the House from any substantial pressure to advance such legislation. That said, in the immediate aftermath of seeing his state overwhelmingly support abortion rights this week, the Republican senator J.D. Vance of Ohio is urging a national Republican position on abortion in the form of a 15-week ban.

The base of the Republican Party clearly expects its candidates to prioritize abortion bans. To ignore these calls is to risk a demoralized base on Election Day next year, making the path to victory that much narrower for a party that has won the national popular vote for the presidency only once in the past 35 years. Yet at the same time, the 2022 and 2023 elections have proved that standing firm in support of abortion bans energizes progressive voters and swings independents toward Democratic candidates. Given that Mr. Trump faces the challenge of expanding his coalition beyond that of his 2020 shortfall, such a development could doom his hopes of returning to the White House.

Mr. Biden and his team have no doubt grasped this dynamic and will presumably force Mr. Trump to pick one of the two daunting paths before him. Before the Virginia elections, national Republicans clearly hoped that Mr. Youngkin had found the consensus choice, with what they emphasized as limits on abortion, not bans. These hopes were dashed in polling places across Virginia on Tuesday, something that surely did not go unnoticed in the White House.

Abortion rights have had the biggest impact on elections over the past year and a half where voters believe abortion rights to be threatened and when they plausibly see their votes as a means to protect or reinstate abortion rights, it is good news for Democrats and for expanding or protecting abortion access. States with abortion on the ballot in the form of ballot measures have seen the biggest effect, but similar effects have been felt in states like Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona, where the issue was at the forefront of campaign messaging.

While Republicans find themselves boxed into a corner on the issue of abortion, in many ways Mr. Biden is the ideal messenger to connect the dots for moderates on this issue. His personal journey on abortion rights has been well documented and mirrors that of many Americans. This year Mr. Biden said : “I’m a practicing Catholic. I’m not big on abortion. But guess what? Roe v. Wade got it right.” Polling shows a sizable portion of moderates and even conservatives more or less agree with him: They may not consider themselves activists on the issue of abortion rights, but at the same time, they are deeply uncomfortable with the Dobbs decision and how it stripped so many Americans of individual freedoms.

This presents both a challenge and an opportunity for Mr. Biden in 2024: Republicans are on the defensive when it comes to abortion rights, and are losing ground every day. Mr. Trump, in calling bans on abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy “a terrible thing and a terrible mistake,” has shown he is aware of the liability the issue represents for his presidential campaign. Yet he is left without a solution that will mollify his supporters while not alienating moderates or mobilizing progressives.

Democrats exceeded expectations and precedent in key races in 2022 and 2023 by putting abortion rights and Republican extremism front and center. In 2024 all voters must understand that their votes will decide the future of abortion rights, everywhere.

Tom Bonier is a Democratic political strategist and the senior adviser to TargetSmart, a data and polling firm.

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3 Pages 830 Words

Progressivism: My Teaching Philosophy As educators, I believe it is important that personal beliefs about education be explored. This should be an ongoing and evolving process; however I find the philosophy of progressivism within my fundamental beliefs about teaching. Everyone has their own opinion or ideas about how education should operate and what should be the focus of it. As someone who has just been introduced to many of the educational philosophies and ideas, it is essential that I focus on what I consider to be of value. As a teacher in the near future, I would like to see my students find it within themselves to challenge their minds and challenge each other. It will be improbable to find a classroom full of students that all have the same goals and aspirations in mind, so my challenge is to guide them in the right direction. Seeing that every school needs a curriculum, it is vital to understand what that curriculum is and how to approach it. With the curriculum comes different teaching methods and different approaches to passing on the information. I find that the educational philosophy of progressivism is huge. Progressivism really connects with my beliefs in teaching. This method works by allowing students to learn by doing hands on activities and challenging themselves without even knowing it. Since progressivism is a “child-centered” method, it enables the students to be free to experiment on their own. The child has a voice in what he/she is learning and that is extremely valuable. Not only does the student have a voice but, the teacher is a guide for them. As the teacher guides the students, the main emphasis is not content but process and how to think is more essential than what to think. Within progressivism, there are some things that progressivism should not be and the one that really caught my eye was that it should not use fear of physical punishment as a form of discipline. This is something that all ...

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Progressive Takes Lead in Latest Provider Ranking of Insurance Apps

Progressive Takes Lead in Provider Ranking of Insurance Apps

Progressive and State Farm tied for No. 1 in last month’s edition of PYMNTS Provider Ranking of Insurance apps , but Progressive stands alone in the top spot this month.

Also this month, Allstate Mobile, USAA Mobile and Safeco Mobile lost position. Here are the apps that knocked them down.

Progressive lands alone at No. 1, scoring 98.

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Aetna Health is still No. 3 with a score of 88.

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Knocked down four rankings is Allstate Mobile with a score of 81 at No. 5.

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Dropping three spots to No. 8 is USAA Mobile with a score of 56.

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Safeco Mobile falls three rankings to close out the top 10 with a score of 41.


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