Research: George S. Counts

| June 28, 2011

Research: George S. Counts

George S. Counts (1889-1974) is known for being an educator, an education theorist and a political activist. He was born and raised in Baldwin, Kansas. Counts received his B.A. from Baker University, the local methodist university. He went to graduate school at the University of Chicago and went on to receive his PhD. in education from the University of Chicago. Charles H. Judd served as advisor to Counts. While Counts was at the University of Chicago all education degrees were combined with a minor in psychology. Counts went against the norm and insisted on receiving a minor in sociology and social science. He was interested in the relationship between societal problems and education. He was a supporter of John Dewey and joined the faculty at Teachers College in 1927. He then took progressive education one step further and made the claim that schools should lead society rather than follow society. Counts wrote the controversial pamphlet, “Dare the School Build a New Social Order?” He claimed that schools preserved the unfair distribution of wealth and power and that schools could and should be used to form a better and more humane society. Counts was also very active politically, he served as chairman of the American Labor Party from 1942 to 1944. He was a founder of the Liberal Party and in 1939-1942 he was the president of the United Federation of Teachers.

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