William Heard Kilpatrick (1871–1965) popularized the project method and child-centered curriculum and proved most important to curriculum studies as an emblematic figure for progressive education curricula. Although Kilpatrick's reputation suffers criticism for misapplying progressive ideals and the beliefs of John Dewey, he remains the self-proclaimed interpreter and leading proponent of the progressive education curriculum of the early to mid-20th century.

Kilpatrick graduated from Mercer College and taught mathematics in the Georgia public schools, returning to Mercer to serve as a faculty member and acting president. His decision to leave Mercer was precipitated by charges of religious heresy, where he subsequently moved to Teachers College and completed his PhD in 1912. Referred to during his later years as the white-haired gentleman from Georgia with his distinctive appearance ...

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