What are your questions about progressive education and the New Progressivism? What answers can you offer?

Question: How does one evaluate whether a program is truly student-centered or only thinks it is?

One idea: Talk to the kids.

Question: Is progressive education more suited to certain learning styles or intelligences than others?

How strong is the connection between progressive education and so-called "progressive" politics? Are the two necessarily linked?

One idea: it depends on your definitions. If you think progressive politics is about including a diversity of experience and voice, then yes, there is a link. However, if you think progressive politics represents specific attitudes toward the appropriate role of government and other fundamental questions of political style, there no, progressive education's focus on a diversity of student voices and experiences would preclude a one-to-one link with progressive politics.

How can progressive education in the 21st century shed its associations in the public mind with
---John Dewey's internationalist politics and people who think that progressive education is still a part of some dark plot to effect the New World Order?
---"permissive education" from the 1970s and 80s?
---the "self-esteem movement," whatever that actually is/was?
---the idea that progressive education is education with no standards?

One idea: Make our case in "the court of public opinion." Use Parents' Nights and newsletters and the media (newspapers, radio, TV) to get out the word on what we are doing and why it works. For one example, at our all-girls school, I make "connectedness - competence - confidence" an ongoing theme in our newsletters and all our literature AttAttsince that's what JoAnn Deak says builds self-esteem in girls. At once, I am affirming there is research supporting what we do and divorcing our practice from the vague touch-feely image that the "self-esteem movement" has acquired.