Dalton Plan

Dalton Plan

John Dewey

Progressive Education

John Dewey is often called the Father of Progressive Education and Father of American Education.  Progressive education is a pedagogical movement that began in the late nineteenth century by Dewey which finds its roots in present experience. He emphasized the independent motivations of the learners, the need for schools to be small scale laboratories for experiments in democratic social reform, and the basis of authentic learning in inquiry and experiences.

Progressive education integrates curriculum focused on thematic units as well as entrepreneurship.  There is also a strong emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking by collaborative and cooperative projects.

Project Based Assessment

Following the lead of John Dewey, William Heard Kilpatrick believed that children should direct their own learning according to their interests and should be allowed to explore their environment, experiencing their learning through the natural senses.  He emphasized that students should be in a project method environment so that they may be allowed to explore and experience their environment through their senses and direct their own learning by their individual interests. 

William Heard Kilpatrick
Helen Parkhurst

Dalton Plan

Dalton Plan was developed by Helen Parkhurst. She was the founder of the Dalton School (aka Children University School in New York City and her philosophy of education spread in America, England, Germany, the Netherlands, the Soviet Union, India, China, and Japan during 19th and 20th centuries.  

Dalton Plan has two principles: Freedom and Cooperation.  Principle of freedom is based on the uniqueness of the individual with his or her independence, creativity and interests. Principle of the cooperation is based on positive socialization through collaboration and exchanges with a variety of people.

The three parts of the Dalton Education includes the House, Assignment, and Laboratory.  The concept of the house goes beyond the scope of the homeroom for the sake of the attendance.  It is where socialization and bonding takes place between students.  The assignment is a set of goals based on contracts and projects between students and teachers.  Assignment can measure the progress of students not only by the teachers, but by students themselves in self direct ways. The Laboratory is a concept of a “garage” which enabled inventors and entrepreneurs of America to foster their own passion.  For example, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started their company called Apple in a garage; Michael Dell started his company called the Dell Computers in a garage; Jeff Bezos started a company called Amazon in a garage, etc.  In like manner, laboratory is a center of educational experience that can be either teacher or student led during the school hours as a co-curricular activity.