William Heard Kilpatrick

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William Heard Kilpatrick

William Heard KilpatrickNovember 21, 1872-February 13, 1965


Major Contributions/Ideas-Believed education was more about the development of character rather than the book information.-Kilpatrick wanted more interaction in society "and saw the inculcation of self-reliance, initiative, cooperation, and even joy as important concomitants in the learning process." (Lounsbury)-Generally believed that we learn what we live.-"Kilpatrick was extremely active in both educational and civic organizations, serving at various times, for example, as chairman of the American Youth for World Youth, president of the board of trustees of Bennington College, president of the John Dewey Society, chairman of the board of the League for Industrial Democracy, and president of the Urban League of Greater New York." (Encyclopedia of World Biography)

A video of a speech given by Dr. Kilpatrick on his 91st birthday

Biography-Progressive educator-"He has been called Dewey’s chief disciple, the Dean of American Education, America’s greatest teacher, and the million dollar professor." (Lounsbury)-Initially attended Mercer University in Macon, GA.-Decided he wanted to teacher either math or science after attending John Hopkins a becoming interested in the intellectual life of the university.-After attending a lecture by Colonel Francis Parker, the Father of Progressive Education, Kilpratrick was inspired by his ideas and began experimenting.-He had a huge interest in his students

Biography Continued-Rejected the theory of formal discipline.-Eventually dropped studying math and started studying eductation.-Encouraged critial thinking-After studying under Dewey, Kilpatrick became very well known and was thought of as the best student Dewey had ever had.-"In July of 1918, Kilpatrick published in the Teachers College Record an 18-page article 'The Project Method: The Use of the Purposeful Act in the Educational Process,' which applied his educational philosophy to classroom teaching. Extremely well received, it brought Kilpatrick enduring fame."

“I could not thank Dewey enough for what he had done by opening up the idea that the starting point in education is individual interest, that the best and richest kind of education starts with self-propelled interest”

"Education must aim at developing in the individual the best possible insight into life’s problems as they successfully present themselves before him; at helping him to make ever finer distinctions in what he does, to take more and more considerations ever better into account, and finally to bring the best social-moral attitudes to bear on each decisions as made and enacted. For the only proper aim of education is fullness of living through fully developed character"-Kilpatrick

Application to Teaching-Now a days, people are becoming more open to the idea of a child-centered learning environment where the children are becoming more and more independent. Kilpatrick was an influential component of start of all of this idea.-We are trying to encourage children to think for themselves rather than simply being given the answers to their problems. In other words, we are more than ever deeply encouraging the use of critical thinking.

John Dewey^^^


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