This paper describes the visions that the educational progressives and founders of occupational therapy expressed for their respective professions, and it examines the thematic ideas that each held in common. These shared themes centered on humanistic values, a belief in occupation, and the promotion of scientific research. The parallels in thinking found within the two groups are examined, and the possible influence of the progressive education movement on the development of occupational therapy is suggested. This analysis is placed within the context of the progressive period of American history, 1900 to 1920.

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