Progressive education can be traced back to the works of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, both of whom are known as forerunners of ideas that would be developed by theorists such as Dewey. He further discussed the need educational interest of children of early age children to have concrete experiences in order to learn.
Rousseau deepened this line of thinking in Emile, or On Education, where he argued that subordination of students to teachers and memorization of facts would not lead to an education. He developed new teaching methods based on conversation and play with the child, and a program of physical development. Such was his success that he wrote a treatise on his methods, “On the best and hitherto unknown method of teaching children of noblemen”. Swiss pedagogue and educational reformer who exemplified Romanticism in his approach. Pestalozzi who laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities. He believed in “self-activity” and play as essential factors in child education. The five key ideas which composed his concept of individual maturation were Inner Freedom, Perfection, Benevolence, Justice, and Equity or Recompense.
Exploited as cheap labor or imprisoned for unruly behavior, Bosco saw the need of creating a space where they would feel at home. 1883, Cecil Reddie was greatly impressed by the progressive educational theories being applied there. Reddie founded Abbotsholme School in Derbyshire, England in 1889. In the United States the “Progressive Education Movement”, starting in the 1880s and lasting for sixty years, helped boost American public schools from a budding idea to the regular norm.