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During the past two years, the Institute of School Experimentation, backed by the General Education Board, has conducted an intensive study of the comparative successes of progressive and "old type" methods of education in high school. The result has been overwhelmingly favorable to the progressive method.
Identical tests were given to students who had been educated in each way. Sixteen high-school subjects were tested, and in only two subjects was the old method of teaching as successful as the now. The scores for the two methods were even in American History, and in intermediate Algebra the old school surpassed greatly. But in all the Sciences, in composition and literature, in all the languages, including Latin, and in all the Mathematics but intermediate Algebra, there was a large percentage difference in favor of progressively taught pupils.
Theoretical attacks on the progressive method of education must collapse in face of such overwhelming statistical evidence. There is still room for doubt in individual cases. There is still room for doubt in application to other fields of education but the high school. One cannot use clay models in college. But the report of the Institute of School Experimentation is conclusive proof that progressive education is on the right track. Let us hope that nostalgia won't prevent its advance.
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