Have you ever heard of the educational theory called Progressivism?
I'm John Dewey, and I am here to tell you a little bit about Progressivism!
Hi John, I'm Jacqui. Nice to meet you. Now, what is progressivism?
No, I have not.
Progressivism is the belief that individuals and institutions can change and be improved! ( L. Dean Webb and Arlene Metha p.75) This educational theory focuses on real-world problem-solving activities in a democratic and cooperative learning environment.
That is very interesting. What kind of experience would the students gain from this way of teaching?
Progressivism embraces the notion that the child is an experiencing organism who is capable of 'learning by doing'. Progressivists perceive students to be evolving and active beings capable of interacting with their environment, setting objectives for their own learning, and working together to solve common problems. They are also capable of establishing rules for governing their classrooms, and testing and evaluating ideas for the improvement of the classroom and learning (Noddings, 2012) (L. Dean Webb and Arlene Methap.75).
Yes Jacqui, that is correct!
So John, what you are saying is that progressivism is where the students are the leaders for their education and the teacher is their facilitator or guide as they learn to problem-solve and connect what they learn to their own experiences?
A progressivism curroiculum would be child centered, growth centered, action centered, process and change centered, and equality centered. It is also communiity centered (L. Dean Webb and Arlene Methap.76). The student will learn what it means to be part of a community and work together to solve problems they may be facing in their time. The leading proponents of progressivism are Francis W. Parker, John Dewey, Ella Flagg Young, and William H. Kilpatrick.
I find progressivism to be a very interesting educational theory that aligns with my teaching philosophy. I would have to agree with you John that our world is always changing, and the children for the future generations needs to be prepared and educated in how to work in teams to make a difference. Progressivism sounds like a learning theory that values and builds upon former experience that could help the children learn from each other and be self-directed learners.
With the children working together, they will be able to critically think, problem solve, work cooperatively, and use assessments to see how they are doing and continue to grow!
That is right Jacqui! I believe that a progressivist teacher like yourself will be a great Director of learning for the students you will be teaching. Each teacher's philosophy will change over the years and don't be afraid to do what is best for you and your students.
Thank you John for sharing with me today about Progressivism! I have learned a lot. It was nice to meet you, take care!