This was the opening of an essay published in the New Republic:
“A friend has been accustomed for many years to urge that there exists only one sure measure for the real progress of education. The test, he has said, is the possibility of bringing suit at law to compel payment of damages by educators to educatees for malpractice. There being no such possibility at present, there is no science or profession of education in existence…. These remarks seem to be an effective if whimsical way of conveying the fact that at present our educational procedure is still accidental.”
“Our backwardness is seen in the general nature of the causes we assign. They are so vague as to be meaningless; words by which we disguise our absence of insight. Thus we talk about heredity and environment…Or we fall back on innate ‘smartness’ and stupidity…
“There is supposed to be a profession which has an art based upon scientific knowledge. But when results are undesirable we shrug our shoulders and place the responsibility upon some intrinsic defect or some outer chance which has unaccountably entered and deflected our correct procedures to a bad outcome.”
The date of the article: 1922
The author: John Dewey.