George Counts

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George Counts

George S. Counts was an American educator and influential education theorist who was an authority on Soviet education and a leading spokesman for the social reconstructionist point of view in American education. George Sylvester Counts was born on a farm near Baldwin City, Kansas, on December 9, 1889, to James and Mertie Counts. He went to country school for 2 years though he completed 4 grades during that time. He graduated at the head of his class at Baker University with a B.A. degree in 1911. He spent two years teaching high school before being inspired to enrol in the graduate school of the University of Chicago in 1913, the same year he married his wife. At Chicago he majored in education and minored in sociology, taking his Ph.D. with honors in 1916. During his career he worked at Harris Teachers College of St Louis, the University of Washington, Yale University, University of Chicago, and the Teachers College of Columbia University. He also lectured at a number of leading universities, including Harvard, UofIllinois, UofMichigan, Stanford, and UofVirginia. In 1932, he combined three speeches into a slim volume called Dare the School Build a New Social Order? Two years later Counts helped to launch The Social Frontier, a reformist journal that focused on the social and educational debate. After his mandatory retirement in 1956, he still taught at the UofPittsburgh, the UofColorado, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, and the Southern Illinois University


1889-Born1911-Graduated from BakerU with B.A.1916-Ph.D. from UofChicago1918-1919-Harris Teachers College, St. Louis1919-1920-the UofWashington1920-1926-Yale University1926-1927-UofChicago 1927-Teachers College, ColumbiaU1932-Wrote Dare the School Build a New Social Order?1934-1937-Editor of The Social Frontier1946-Education and the Promise of America1952-Education and American Civilization1962-Education and the Foundations of Human Freedom1956-Mandatory retirement from Columbia1974-Death

Counts was known as the founder of Social Reconstructionism. He viewed education as an important tool to counter social injustices, and, if educators questioned their own power to make critical decisions, Counts’s plea was to “Just do it!” He was the author of 29 books and more than 100 articles, as well as an active participant in several professional and civic organizations, notably the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the American Association of University Professors, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Historical Association, the American Sociology Society, the Liberal Party of New York State, the National Education Association, and the Progressive Education Association.

Lasting Impact

Founder of Social Reconstructionism


-Sadker, David M.; Zittleman, Karen; Sadker, Myra P. (2012-11-09). Teachers Schools and Society (Page 263). McGraw-Hill Education. Kindle Edition. - "George S. Counts." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004. 28 Jan. 2016 -Amy Reed;



George S. Counts

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