To the Trustees
of the
Henry George School of Social Science

John Dewey

[A letter written early in 1942. Reprinted from
Land and Freedom, March-April 1942]

"I have read with interest and approval the statement of the principles underlying the educational work of the Henry George School. They are educationally sound and in harmony with the best practices in adult education. Experience has demonstrated that methods taken over from regular academic practices have worked successfully in adult education only when the latter was being used to supplement prior academic education or to prepare students for further academic work. Except in a few cases where the teachers had an inspiring personality, they failed, of ten miserably, in adult education projects to hold the interest and attention of grown persons who need a more direct approach and one they can connect with their own experiences and social interests and problems. Having visited the School, I am glad to add my hearty endorsement of the principles set forth by the Trustees, an expression of my conviction that from the side of scholarly preparation and knowledge, the School measures up to high academic standards. The remarks of the previous paragraph apply only to the methods used to get and hold the attention of students."