Research: William H. Kilpatrick

| June 27, 2011

Research: William H. Kilpatrick

William H. Kilpatrick (1871-1965) was born in White Plains, Georgia. He attended Mercer University and Johns Hopkins University. William H. Kilpatrick met John Dewey in 1898. Dewey served as a mentor to William H. Kilpatrick. Both men were extremely important progressive educators. Dewey and Kilpatrick influenced the 1932 founding of Bennington College in Vermont. Kilpatrick received a scholarship in 1907 to attend Teachers College Columbia University. Kilpatrick received his PhD from Teachers College in 1912. In 1912 after receiving his PhD, Kilpatrick became an assistant professor at Teachers College. In 1915 he became an associate professor and he was promoted to a full professor in 1918. He believed in student centered learning where the teacher serves as a guide rather than an authoritarian leader. He wrote a famous essay while he was teaching at Teachers College entitled “The Project Method.” This essay discusses the idea that early childhood education should be focused around a central theme and it should focus on problem solving rather than on rote memorization. This essay lead to the writing of his book, Foundations of Method (1925). Kilpatrick believed teachers should aim to create a curriculum that is interesting to students and that utilizes the senses. Kilpatrick was a professor at Teachers College until his retirement in 1937.

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