The RESEARCH

Human Restoration Project explores a variety of progressive thought to move all learners toward humanity through passion, service, and empowerment.

We recommend starting with writings by any of these educators: Linda Darling-Hammond, John Dewey, Susan Engel, Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux, John Holt, bell hooks, Alfie Kohn, Jonathan Kozol, Deborah Meier, Maria Montessori, and Jean Piaget. We welcome criticism and remain open to dialogue on expanding our viewpoints further.

Interested in crowdsourcing the largest collection of progressive education research on the Internet? Submit a book, article, or research study. Please report broken links to us. All research should be looked at through a critical lens, many research studies fail to be replicated or have mixed results.

Not sure where to start? Look for the UFO icon! These are great introductory resources to this concept.

we recommend...

We Need LGBTQ-Affirming Learning Environments in Person or Otherwise

Anti-Racism & Social Justice

Blanchard

2021

This article from Learning for Justice demonstrates the reasoning and practical ways to build inclusive, safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth.
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A Progressive Response to “Ed. Reform’s Lost Decade”

Covington

2020

Eliminating Standardized Testing
Article
$

On why assessment scores hamper our ability to gauge student learning.

A Teacher's Case for Critical Race Theory

Covington

2020

Anti-Racism & Social Justice
Article
$

An overview of Critical Race Theory and why the theory is needed within the education system.

Cutting Content to Make Room for Learning

Covington

2018

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

Summarizes how removing bloated content from the classroom and focusing on student interests leads to greater interest.

My Pragmatic Journey to Voice & Choice in the Classroom

Covington

2018

Self-Determination
Article
$

A teacher's journey toward allowing voice and choice in the classroom.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Covington

2019

Self-Determination
Article
$

A challenge to students on creating self-determined projects.

Taking the Plunge

Covington

2018

Self-Determination
Article
$

How can we declutter our classrooms to make room for student-driven learning?

Universal Design for Fishing

Covington

2020

Experiential Learning
Article
$

An introduction to the protocols and practices of UDL through a fishing metaphor.

What’s in a grade? GRExit, GPA, College Admissions, and the Mastery Transcript (oh my!)

Covington

2020

Ungrading
Article
$

Showcases a shift in undergraduate and graduate programs from standardized assessment, and counteracting assumptions about standardized assessment.

Why “What Works” Won’t Work and Why “What Works” May Hurt

Covington

2020

Eliminating Standardized Testing
Article
$

Unpacking the criticisms of "what works" in education and the dangers of "evidence-based" education research.

“In your opinion, what matters?”

Covington

2018

Ungrading
Article
$

The dangers of the circular logic of "if I got an A, then I must have learned it, and I know I learned it because I got an A."

Creating a Virtual, Liberatory Feedback-Driven Classroom

Covington & McNutt

2020

Ungrading
Article
$

A conference overview of resources and ideas for "liberatory pedagogy" by creating feedback first classrooms.

One Teacher Can't Save the World

Covington & McNutt

2020

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

Asks the question: What is it about the world that is worth preparing students for? And is it possible to reach that question alone?

De-stressing Stress: The Power of Mindsets and the Art of Stressing Mindfully

Crum & Lyddy

2013

Social Emotional Learning
Article
$

Guide on the meaning of mindfulness and its importance to everyone's lives.

Independent Reading and School Achievement

Cullinan

2000

Promoting Literacy
Research Study
$

A review of independent reading and school achievement, finding linkage across the board that letting students have free time to select and read books is beneficial for academic and motivational reasons.

Paulo Freire: teaching for freedom and transformation: the philosophical influences on the work of Paulo Freire

Dale & Hyslop-Margison

2012

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

An analysis of Freire’s teachings and concept of “humanization” - with a specific focus on how these theoretical ideas can be implemented in schools.

Vicki Abeles: Modern education is making our kids sick

Dallas News

2016

Social Emotional Learning
Research Study
$

Summary of Abeles' research at one working-class school, demonstrating how 80% of adolescents suffer from moderate to severe anxiety, and 54% moderate and severe depression.

The Path to Purpose: How Young People Find Their Calling in Life

Damon

2009

Purpose-Finding
Book
$

A quintessential overview of purpose-finding, Dr. William Damon explains the need for purpose-finding, its long-term and short-term benefits, and why schools need to frame purpose.

The Development of Purpose During Adolescence

Damon et. al.

2003

Purpose-Finding
Article
$

A summary of pitfalls in the research of purpose-finding as well as the current research that exists in the field.

Examining the Effects of a School-wide Reading Culture on the Engagement of Middle School Students

Daniels & Steres

2011

Promoting Literacy
Research Study
$

Shows a connection between motivation, reading, and academic success in school.

Culture and Power in the Classroom, 2nd Ed.

Darder

2012

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

A reflection of educators reflectively critically on their practice and ability to meet underserved students.

Reinventing Paulo Freire: A Pedagogy of Love

Darder

2017

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

A series of educators interviewed on their implementation of Freire's work in modern schools.

Teaching as an Act of Love: In Memory of Paulo Freire

Darder

1998

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

A summary of Freire's beliefs about education and a message for educators to push back against anti-freedom authoritarianism in schools.

New Standards and Old Inequalities: School Reform and the Education of African American Students

Darling-Hammond

2005

Anti-Racism & Social Justice
Article
$

Demonstrates the issues with reformers centering top-down, corporate-driven reform on students of color.

Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the United States and Abroad

Darling-Hammond

2009

Supporting Teachers and PD Reform
Research Study
$

Despite the majority of educators participating in PD throughout the year, most are unhappy with its results. (Further, 57% of educators received 16 hours of PD or less over the last 12 months.)

The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools That Work

Darling-Hammond

2001

Book of the Month
Book
$

An extensively researched work on school reform and building public progressive institutions.

Graduation by Portfolio at Central Park East Secondary School

Darling-Hammond & Ancess

1994

Ungrading
Book
$

A full overview of how Central Park East (Deborah Meier) uses a portfolio system to assess student graduation.

Pedagogy of the Anxious: Rethinking Critical Pedagogy in the Context of Neoliberal Autonomy and Responsibilization

De Lissovoy

2017

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

De Lissovoy interrogates the meaning and implications of Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" in the light of the neoliberal 21st century fragmentation of society and individuals.

Motivation and Education: The Self-Determination Perspective

Deci

1991

Self-Determination
Article
$

An overview of self-determination theory and how its incorporation in school showcases a heavily increased level of learning.

Facilitating Optimal Motivation and Psychological Well-Being Across Life’s Domains

Deci & Ryan

2008

Self-Determination
Research Study
$

Relates research between motivation and intrinsic objectives to deeper understanding of subject matter.

Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behavior

Deci & Ryan

1985

Self-Determination
Article
$

Provides details on the need for self-determination and competence, laying out the necessary requirements for people to achieve each.

Extrinsic Rewards and Intrinsic Motivation in Education: Reconsidered Once Again

Deci et. al.

2001

Self-Determination
Research Study
$

Provides evidence that extrinsic rewards have a damaging effect on intrinsic motivation.

The Lives of Children: The Story of the First Street School

Dennison

1999

General Progressive Pedagogy
Book
$

An inspiring look at how Dennison leads students towards positive outcomes through an authentic "human" education at the First Street School.

Excellent Sheep: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania

Deresiewicz

2014

Book of the Month
Book
$

Exemplifies the issues of prestigious-college seeking youth, our obsession with “being the best”, and what education truly means.

Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children

Derman-Sparks

1989

Anti-Racism & Social Justice
Book
$

Showcases research and case studies at implementing anti-bias curriculum in the classroom.

Experience and Education

Dewey

1938

Experiential Learning
Book
$

A fundamental overview of experiential learning and one of the originators of progressive education.

The Power in Our Hands: A Curriculum on the History of Work and Workers in the United States

Diamond & Bigelow

1988

General Progressive Pedagogy
Book
$

A series of lesson plans on teaching labor movements.

The College Process & Progressive Ed: What’s Wrong

Dignan

2019

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

Demonstrates how the college admissions process makes progressive practices difficult, but not impossible.

Tracing Letters

Dignan

2019

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

On how the college admissions process damages our ability to demonstrate our learning.

Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals

Duckworth

2007

Cooperation and Soft Skills
Research Study
$

Research shows how grit is a general indicator of success. Notably, however, is that grit is defined as a individual's perseverance and a passion for a long-term goal.

Who Owns Learning?: Questions of Autonomy, Choice, and Control

Dudley-Marling & Searle

1995

Self-Determination
Book
$

A range of interviews talking about teachers giving up power to allow for choice within their classrooms.

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People

Dunbar-Ortiz

2019

Book of the Month
Book
$

Consistently poses questions that counteract misinformation about Native communities, specifically stories that are usually taught in elementary school

URBAN YOUTH AND THE COUNTER-NARRATION OF INEQUALITY

Duncan-Andrade

2007

Anti-Racism & Social Justice
Article
$

Highlights a program of a digital literacy program centered on poor students of color.

Your Best Friend or Your Worst Enemy: Youth Popular Culture, Pedagogy, and Curriculum in Urban Classrooms

Duncan-Andrade & M.R.

2004

Anti-Racism & Social Justice
Research Study
$

An argument for youth cultural literacies and application in the classroom.

The Art of Critical Pedagogy: Possibilities for Moving from Theory to Practice in Urban Schools

Duncan-Andrade & Morrell

2008

Book of the Month
Book
$

An overview of the concept of critical pedagogy, showcases why it is needed in urban contexts, and provides three case studies of what it actually looks like in practice.

An A Is Not An A Is Not An A: A History Of Grading

Durm

1993

Ungrading
Article
$

A history of grading from the early 20th century, showcasing what assumptions and ideas have existed about grades and assessment.

Mindsets That Promote Resilience: When Students Believe That Personal Characteristics Can Be Developed

Dweck & Yeager

2012

Cooperation and Soft Skills
Article
$

A basis for “growth mindset” - a review of research studies showcasing how students who believe that intellectual abilities can be developed (rather than fixed) have higher achievement rates.

Models of Excellence

EL Education

Org

Experiential Learning
Organization or Website
$

A showcase of various projects across K-12 featuring "gold standard" PBL elements.

The interplay of scientific epistemological views, learning strategies, and attitudes of college students

Edmondson & Novak

1993

Purpose-Finding
Research Study
$

This paper focuses on research that illustrates the important interplay between students' scientific epistemological views and their learning strategies.

Why Doesn't This Feel Empowering? Working Through the Repressive Myths of Critical Pedagogy

Ellsworth

1989

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Research Study
$

Demonstrates the issues of implementing education for liberation, and provides a critique for "empowerment."

Children's Need to Know: Curiosity in Schools

Engel

2011

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

An essay supporting the need for children's inquiry, socialization, and natural curiosity to be embraced and focused on by schools.

The End of the Rainbow: How Educating for Happiness (Not Money) Would Transform Our Schools

Engel

2016

Book of the Month
Book
$

A deeply researched account of how America's schools are aimed at wealth as opposed to educational pursuits.

The Hungry Mind: The Origins of Curiosity in Childhood

Engel

2015

General Progressive Pedagogy
Book
$

Author provides a deep overview of the origins and cultivation of curiosity.

The Intellectual Lives of Children

Engel

2021

General Progressive Pedagogy
Book
$

Explains how young children see and understand the world, showcasing their brilliance and ability to perceive new ideas.

RANGE: WHY GENERALISTS TRIUMPH IN A SPECIALIZED WORLD

Epstein

2019

Book of the Month
Book
$

Analyzes the question: Do specialists actually get better with experience or not, and is narrow, deliberate practice the only way to achieve greatness in a given field?

Multiple-Choice Tests

Fairtest

2007

Eliminating Standardized Testing
Article
$

A look at how multiple-choice tests have serious flaws that limit their use.

The Case Against High Stakes Testing

Fairtest

2017

Eliminating Standardized Testing
Article
$

A collection of articles, research studies, and expert discussion on the misuse of standardized testing.

Making the Grades: MY MISADVENTURES IN THE STANDARDIZED TESTING INDUSTRY

Farley

2011

Book of the Month
Book
$

A journey of over a decade in the testing industry. Starting as a simple scorer, Farley works his way through the ranks to reigning as a testing consultant — despite all of the deplorable events he witnesses.

“You Do Not Have to Be Good”: De-emphasizing Product in Arts Education

Fawkes

2019

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

Demonstrates the need for a shift to process over product, especially in arts education.

School Meals Are More Important Than Ever—Here's How You Can Get Involved

Faye

2021

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

A call for changing school lunches toward equitable, healthy food through various organizations, action plans, and holistic practices.

Silencing in Public Schools

Fine

1987

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

Showcases how certain words and topics are pressured to not be covered in public schools from various sources.

The ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the classroom

Fisher

2021

Self-Determination
Article
$

This article powerfully challenges the popular cognitive science-backed direct instruction approach to schooling.

Classroom Social Experiences as Predictors of Academic Performance

Flook et al.

2005

General Progressive Pedagogy
Research Study
$

Study shows how lack of peer acceptance in 4th grade led to increasingly negative academic outcomes to 6th grade (and possibly beyond), identifying a need for teachers to build relationships between students.

Henry Giroux: “Those arguing that education should be neutral are really arguing for a version of education in which nobody is accountable”

França

2019

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

Giroux provides an interview that dissects the idea of "neutrality" in education, and why we need to hold people in power accountable.

Education for Critical Consciousness

Freire

1973

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

Further inquiry into the concept of "critical pedagogy" and how one's perspective and life situation needs a raised consciousness to understand and change the system they're apart of.

Learning to Question: A Pedagogy of Liberation

Freire

1989

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

Freire's argument of using the techniques of critical pedagogy to specifically liberate oppressed societies.

Pedagogy of the City

Freire

1993

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

An application of Pedagogy of the Oppressed with specifically the urban poor.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Freire

1970

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

The basis of "critical pedagogy" - analyzing how the teacher/student relationship has become similar to colonization models, and our need for teachers to work "with" students rather than "at" students.

The Politics of Education: Culture, Power, and Liberation

Freire

1985

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

Showcases the activist, "Freire" approach to transformative change in the classroom.

The “Banking” Concept of Education

Freire

1968

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

Details how the view of students as passive receivers of information can corrupt and misalign the goals of the education system.

Pedagogy for liberation: dialogues on transforming education

Freire & Shor

1987

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

Highlights the need for “humanization” of the classroom and how teachers can connect to students’ lived experiences.

Teachers As Cultural Workers: Letters to Those Who Dare Teach

Freire et. al.

2005

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

Essays by Freire and various contemporary theorists on lessons learned in teaching liberatory learning.

The Labor of Lunch: Why We Need Real Food and Real Jobs in American Public Schools

Gaddis

2019

Book of the Month
Book
$

A treatise on the United States school lunch system: its history, battle over nutritional quality, and those who are fighting to change it.

Readicide

Gallagher

2009

Promoting Literacy
Book
$

A well-written account of how school programs that are meant to encourage reading actually hinder and destroy a love of reading, in-turn decreasing reading comprehension.

Where Students Get Valued Advice on What to Study in College

Gallop

2017

Experiential Learning
Article
$

Outlines how students choose what their college major will be and based on findings, recommends that students are exposed to more internships & experiences to find greater purpose.

Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto

Gannon

2020

Book of the Month
Book
$

Frames the transactional, market-oriented, outcomes-focus of modern higher ed. institutions as befitting “classrooms of death”, borrowing symbolism from 19th century Danish folk school leader Nikolai Grundtvig.

Who's in Control? Is There Enough "Empowerment" to Go Around?

Garan

1994

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Research Study
$

A teacher's study of being a participant observer in an English classroom, resisting the temptation to enact control.

The role of early career supports, continuous professional development, and learning communities in the teacher shortage

Garcia & Weiss

2019

Supporting Teachers and PD Reform
Research Study
$

Demonstrates the need for quality professional development amongst a growing teacher shortage. Finds that only 11% of teachers have a say in their professional development.

GoodWork: Theory and Practice

Gardner

2010

Purpose-Finding
Article
$

An extensive look at what it means to work in “Good Work” - or work that has purpose, meaning, and intrinsically motivated goals. Written by a collection of experts on purpose.

Metal Detectors and Feeling Safe at School

Gastic

2010

Restorative Justice
Article
$

This article argues that metal detectors bestow an organizational stigma to schools.

Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice

Gay

2010

Anti-Racism & Social Justice
Book
$

An overview of how teachers should implement and inform equity-centered and progressive classrooms. (The attached link is Chapter 7, on how to inform and introduce students to this style of learning.)

Character strengths predict subjective well-being during adolescence

Gillham et. al.

2011

Purpose-Finding
Research Study
$

Research finds that 9th and 10th grade students had greater life satisfaction and less depressive symptoms when they found meaning and love in their lives.

Prekindergarteners Left Behind: Expulsion Rates in State Prekindergarten Systems

Gilliam

2005

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Research Study
$

The first comprehensive study of 3,898 prekindergarten classrooms across 40 states into the expulsion rates in state prekindergarten systems.

Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers

Ginott

1972

Book of the Month
Book
$

Outlines the day-to-day interactions teachers have with children, offering suggestions to solve the minute interactions that encompass most of this profession.

How Testing Came to Dominate American Schools

Giordano

2005

Eliminating Standardized Testing
Book
$

An overview of the history of the high-stakes testing system.

Border Crossings: Cultural Workers and the Politics of Education

Giroux

1992

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

A series of essays discussing post-modernism, feminism, cultural studies, and critical pedagogy.

Neoliberalism's War on Higher Education

Giroux

2019

Public Education
Book
$

Showcases how educational policy has been taken by corporate forces and market-driven philosophies.

On Critical Pedagogy

Giroux

2011

Book of the Month
Book
$

A rejection of the empirical concept of teaching, Giroux analyzes how students have become more like customers than learners.

Rethinking neoliberal fascism, racist violence, and the plague of inequality

Giroux

2021

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Article
$

Political attacks on critical race theory and the 1619 Project, promoting "patriotic education", etc. amount to an attack on academic freedom and normalizes authoritarianism.

Schooling and the Struggle for Public Life

Giroux

2005

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

Demonstrates the democratic possibilities of schooling, offering that schools are one of the few places youth can engage in democratic thinking.

Terror of Neoliberalism: Authoritarianism and the Eclipse of Democracy

Giroux

2004

Critical Pedagogy and Power
Book
$

An extensive argument of how neoliberal is not just an economic theory, but a form of political and cultural power manifested in education.

The Essential Renewal of America's Schools

Glickman & Mette

2020

General Progressive Pedagogy
Book
$

Demonstrates how building leaders and educators can move away from mandated strict guidelines that often hurt student outcomes.

UDL-Aligned Strategies

Goalbook Toolkit

Org

General Progressive Pedagogy
Organization or Website
$

A series of practices that support increased student participation through a Universal Design for Learning.

The Apollo School: What 21st Century Learning Looks Like

Gonzalez

2017

Experiential Learning
Article
$

A podcast from Cult of Pedagogy on The Apollo School, which is centered on experiential learning.

A Place Called School: Prospects for the Future

Goodlad

1984

General Progressive Pedagogy
Book
$

A four-year study of 1,000 classrooms offering ways to improve the schooling system away from high-stakes testing and moving toward a common set of concepts.

Nonfiction Reading Promotes Student Success

Goodwin & Miller

2013

Promoting Literacy
Article
$

Demonstrates through research that nonfiction reading is integral for student success, yet lacking in school. Suggestions are made to connect nonfiction reading to student interest.

The Value of Play I: The definition of play gives insights

Gray

2008

Free Play
Article
$

Outlines the need and practice of play in schools, including its benefits and definition as "play."

Teacher Stress and Health

Greenberg et. al.

2016

Supporting Teachers and PD Reform
Research Study
$

Finds that teachers report the highest levels of occupational stress, the same as nurses, which impacts the classroom.

Autonomy in Children's Learning: An Experimental and Individual Difference Investigation

Grolnick & Ryan

1987

Self-Determination
Research Study
$

When two groups of students were presented with controlling vs. non-controlled learning, those in a non-controlled (and more autonomous) environment had greater learning outcomes and motivation.When two groups of students were presented with controlling vs. non-controlled learning, those in a non-controlled (and more autonomous) environment had greater learning outcomes and motivation.

Why Does Neo‐Liberalism Hate Kids? The War on Youth and the Culture of Politics

Grossberg

2006

General Progressive Pedagogy
Article
$

Explains the hyper focus on markets' connection to damaging children's outcomes.

Failing Our Children: No Child Left behind Undermines Quality and Equity in Education

Guisbond & Neill

2004

Eliminating Standardized Testing
Article
$

An argument against the implementation of No Child Left Behind and "standardized test scores at any cost" culture.

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