Race Hawk Traditional vs. Thoughts on Dewey Ahead of my return to graduate school I have decided to spend some time grappling with the theories and philosophies of Joh Dewey, Paulo Friere, Carter G. Woodson, and other educators whose work informs my own perspectives on public education and education reform. First, Dewey is the theorist with whom I am least familiar and to whose work I was introduced most recently.
From humble beginnings in Vermont, he managed to achieve a PhD in philosophy and become a professor at the University of Chicago. By this, Dewey meant that philosophy had to be grounded in the practical conditions of everyday human life, and that human knowledge should be linked to practical social experience.
This philosophy underpinned all his educational thinking.
At present, the opposition, so far as the practical affairs of the school are concerned, tends to take the form of contrast between traditional and progressive education. If the underlying ideas of the former are formulated broadly … they are found to be as follows: The subject-matter of education consists of bodies of information and skills that have been worked out in the past; therefore, the chief business of the school is to transmit them to a new generation.
In the past, there have also been developed standards and rules of conduct; moral training consists in forming habits of action in conformity with these rules and standards … [T]he general pattern of school organization by which I mean the relations of pupils to one another and to the teachers … [centres around] time schedules, schemes of classification, of examination and promotion, of rules of order … Since the subject-matter as well as standards of proper conduct are handed down from the past, the attitude of pupils must, upon the whole, be one of docility, receptivity, and obedience.
Books, especially textbooks, are the chief representatives of the lore and wisdom of the past, while teachers are the organs through which pupils are brought into effective connection with the material.
Teachers are the agents through which knowledge and skills are communicated and rules of conduct enforced … The traditional scheme is, in essence, one of imposition from above and outside … Moreover, that which is taught is thought of as essentially static … It is to a large extent the cultural product of societies that assumed the future would be much like the past, and yet it is used as educational food in a society where change is the rule, not the exception … The school environment of desks, blackboards, a small school yard, was supposed to suffice.
There was no demand that the teacher should become intimately acquainted with the conditions of the local community, physical, historical, economic, occupational, etc.
It is not an invidious reflection upon trigonometry that we do not teach it in the first or fifth grade of school.
It is not subject per se that is educative or that is conducive to growth. There is no subject that in and of itself, or without regard to the state of growth attained by the learner, such that inherent educational value can be attributed to it.
Failure to take into account adaptation to the needs and capacities of individuals was the source of the idea that certain subjects and certain methods are intrinsically cultural or intrinsically good for mental discipline.
There is no such thing as educational value in the abstract … If one attempts to formulate the philosophy of education implicit in the practices of the new education, we may, I think, discover certain common principles amid the variety of progressive schools now existing.
To imposition from above is opposed expression and cultivation of individuality; to external discipline is opposed free activity; to learning from texts and teachers, learning from experience; to acquisition of isolated skills and techniques by drill, is opposed acquisition of them as a means of attaining ends which make direct vital appeal; to preparation for a more or less remote future is opposed making the most of the opportunities of present life; to static aims and materials is opposed acquaintance with a changing world … It is the cardinal precept of the newer school of education that the beginning of instruction shall be made with the experience learners already have; that this experience and the capacities that have been developed during its course provide the starting point for all further learning.
It keeps them alert and active, instead of passive and receptive; it makes them more useful, more capable, and hence more inclined to he helpful at home; it prepares them to some extent for the practical duties of later life—the girls to be more efficient house managers, if not actually cooks and seamstresses; the boys … for their future vocations.
We must conceive of [schools] … as agencies for bringing home to the child some of the primal necessities of community life … as instrumentalities through which the school itself shall be made a genuine form of active community life, instead of a place set apart in which to learn lessons … As one enters a busy kitchen in which a group of children are actively engaged in the preparation of food, the psychological difference, the change from more or less passive and inert recipiency and restraint to one of buoyant outgoing energy, is so obvious as fairly to strike one in the face … [By] the introduction into the school of various forms of active occupation … the entire spirit of the school is renewed.
It gets a chance to be a miniature community, and embryonic society. To do this means to make each one of our schools an embryonic community life, active with the types of occupation that reflect the life of larger society. The School and Society. University of Chicago Press.Educational Debate: Traditional vs.
Progressive vs. Montessori Education at October 22, As a young and relatively new parent, I am excited to see my girls wear uniform, go to school, teach them with their homework, attend parent-teacher meetings, the works. Jan 24, · Good job with the shading light on the debate between traditional and progressive approaches to education.
Your reflection seems to stay neutral but I feel you do lean a bit to the side of advocating for more of a progressive approach than traditional approach in the classroom. What we call progressive is actually a very traditional education, and what we call traditional is largely the result of outdated policy changes that have calcified into conventions.
Consider just a few examples that happen to be from the Boston area, where I . As a student who finished the college two years ago, I prefer a progressive education.
Traditional vs. Progressive Education By Martin Cothran June 13, Classical Education, Classical Studies, Summer , Virtue No Comments Everyone agrees that education is a good thing. EEF Blog: The danger of oversimplifying the traditional vs progressive debate In this blog, Robbie Coleman – a secondary school English teacher and a Senior Associate at the EEF – looks at the age-old 'trads v progs' educational debate, and finds valuable nuance in the research of Barak Rosenshine. Jan 24, · Good job with the shading light on the debate between traditional and progressive approaches to education. Your reflection seems to stay neutral but I feel you do lean a bit to the side of advocating for more of a progressive approach than traditional approach in the classroom.
Unfortunately, not all teachers understand that it’s much better and more productive than traditional education. And we have to learn as before.
Educational Debate: Traditional vs. Progressive vs.
Montessori Education at October 22, As a young and relatively new parent, I am excited to see my girls wear uniform, go to school, teach them with their homework, attend parent-teacher meetings, the works.
Modem progressive education, as practiced in today's schools, finds its philosophical roots in the ideas of Rousseau, Herbert Spencer, and most espe- Catholic Education: A Journal oJ Inquiry and Practice.