Social Studies Research and Practice
Volume 4, Number 3, Winter 2009
Four Women of Chicago: Mothers of Progressive Education and Developers of John Dewey’s Idea
University of Alabama at Birmingham
John Dewey is well known for his progressive ideas and was credited by many historians as the father of progressive education, but where are the mothers? Dewey did not develop his ideas in isolation. Four women from Chicago were highly influential in assisting John in initiating and refining his theories. Ella Flagg Young, Jane Addams, Alice Chipman Dewey, and Anna Bryan deserve to be recognized for their contributions as “mothers” of the progressive movement and for their championing social justice issues during the late 19th and early part of the 20th centuries.