Interviewer: How would you describe progressive education?

Pretty much under John Dewey. Just having the students have more of a say in what it is they want to learn. You might be studying philosophy, math, or English, but you’re learning about what your passion is. Instead of having there be a prescribed set of study—that has a person conveying that knowledge to you—the teacher, the professor is a facilitator to try to meet your needs and to get you thinking critically and writing clearly and communicating effectively.

It seems to me that progressive education is essentially the antithesis of traditional schooling and what we see in most conventional schools. Under aPresident Sanders administration, how would the Department of Education function? What would be the contrast to what we’ve seen in the past couple of decades with a lot of standardized testing and corporate education reforms?

We’d be going in the exact opposite direction. No Child Left Behind was a disaster. We don’t really believe in standardized testing. I think our purpose would be, schooling is meant to help people be creative, to have their curiosity stimulated, and have them be actively thinking whatever they’re thinking about—whether it’s the stars, the universe, climate change, anything. Having them be able to feel they can explore anything, learn anything.

There’s a massive movement in New York around opting out of state testing. Two hundred and forty thousand parents last year, or 20 percent, opted out. If you had your child in school right now, would you opt your child out?

I don’t know about the extent of it. The standardized tests that they do as a marker is one thing. I think the standardized tests that they say: do you know fourth-grade English or fourth-grade history? I think is a disaster and absolutely would not support that.

Read the Article – Source: Jane Sanders Has Some Harsh Words for Our Public Education System | The Nation