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Free School papers donated to John Dewey Project collection

   Dr. Len Solo, co-founder of the Teacher Dropout Center (TDOC) at the University of Massachusetts in 1969, has donated to the UVM Library Special Collections several boxes of documents he collected during the TDOC's 8-year existence. TDOC was a major clearinghouse for the network of free schools that thrived in the late 1960s and early 1970s; it linked disillusioned and radical young teachers with the hundreds of alternative schools appearing across the U.S. at that time. The documents include newsletters, school literature, "underground" and other informal publications. The free school movement was a radical expression of progressive education ideas; Dewey's influence, although often indirect, was recognized in the writings of Paul Goodman and George Dennison. Dewey Project board member Ron Miller (who invited Dr. Solo to consider donating the collection) is presently completing a book on the intellectual origins of the free school movement and will discuss its relationship to Dewey and progressive education.  Dr. Solo has been principal of the Graham and Parks alternative public school in Cambridge, Mass., for about 25 years. The Dewey Project greatly appreciates this contribution.