progressive education


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progressive education,

movement in American education. Confined to a period between the late 19th and mid-20th cent., the term "progressive education" is generally used to refer only to those educational programs that grew out of the American reform effort known as the progressive movement. The sources of the movement, however, partly lie in the pedagogy of Jean Jacques Rousseau, Johann Pestalozzi, and Friedrich Froebel.

Progressive education was a pluralistic phenomenon, embracing industrial training, agricultural education, and social education as well as the new techniques of instruction advanced by educational theorists. Postulates of the movement were that children learn best in those experiences in which they have a vital interest and that modes of behavior are most easily learned by actual performance. The progressives insisted, therefore, that education must be a continuous reconstruction of living experience based on activity directed by the child. The recognition of individual differences was also considered crucial. Progressive education opposed formalized authoritarian procedure and fostered reorganization of classroom practice and curriculum as well as new attitudes toward individual students.

Various Progressive Plans

John DeweyDewey, John,
1859–1952, American philosopher and educator, b. Burlington, Vt., grad. Univ. of Vermont, 1879, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins, 1884. He taught at the universities of Minnesota (1888–89), Michigan (1884–88, 1889–94), and Chicago (1894–1904) and at
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, an early proponent of progressive education, maintained that schools should reflect the life of the society. He suggested that the schools take on such responsibilities as the acculturation of immigrants in addition to merely teaching academic skills. Dewey also proposed a number of specific curricular changes that had strong impact on subsequent reformers. At his Laboratory School in Chicago, for example, Dewey developed (1896–1904) a method in which younger student groups worked on a central project related to their own interests. The division of more advanced work into units organized around some central theme was an attempt to adapt the method to the academic needs of older children.

Other efforts to reorganize the schools included the Gary plan, developed (1908–15) in Gary, Ind. Devised to utilize the school plant more efficiently, to provide opportunity for more practical work, and to coordinate various levels of schooling, the plan divided the school building into classrooms and space for auditorium, playground, shops, and laboratories. Two schools ran simultaneously in this space so that every facility was in constant use. The school day was eight hours long, and schools were open six days a week. The Gary plan was widely adopted. The Dalton plan (1919), at Dalton, Mass., subdivided the work of the traditional curriculum into contract units, which the student undertook to accomplish in a specified amount of time. The Winnetka plan, established (1919) at Winnetka, Ill., separated the curriculum into the subjects handled by the Dalton technique and used the cooperative method of creative social activities developed by Dewey.

A prominent experimental school was established by Francis Parker at the Cook County Normal School (Chicago, 1883). The Horace Mann School (New York City, 1887), the Lincoln School (1917) at Teachers College, Columbia Univ., and the experimental school (1915) at the State Univ. of Iowa were other notable progressive institutions. Activities programs were designed to supply certain aspects of progressive education to those schools in which more radical adjustments were not possible; the activities included clubs, student self-government, and school publications.

Popularity and Long-term Effects

The principles and practices of progressive education gained wide acceptance in American school systems during the first half of the 20th cent.; similar pedagogical innovations were instituted in many of the schools of Europe. From its inception, however, the movement elicited rather sharp criticism from a variety of different sources, particularly for its failure to emphasize systematic study of the academic disciplines. Opposition increased greatly in the years following World War II, and many hold that by the late 1950s the movement had collapsed. By that time, however, the progressive movement had effected a permanent transformation in the character of the American school, and many progressive schools across the country were firmly established. Other educational reform movements that have been affected by or are similar to progressive education are open educationopen education,
also known as open classroom, type of educational reform. The central tenet of this informal system is that children want to learn and will do so naturally if left to their own initiative.
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, the SummerhillSummerhill,
radical progressive school in Leiston, Suffolk, England, and the educational movement based on principles developed at the school. The school was founded (1924) by A. S. Neill, who headed the institution until his death in 1973.
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 school, and the reforms of Maria MontessoriMontessori, Maria
, 1870–1952, Italian educator and physician. She was the originator of the Montessori method of education for young children and was the first woman to receive (1894) a medical degree in Italy.
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.

Bibliography

See J. Dewey, The School and Society (1899, rev. ed. 1943, repr. 1961), Schools of To-morrow (1915, repr. 1962), and Democracy and Education (1916, rev. ed. 1944, repr. 1966); H. Rugg and A. Shumaker, The Child-Centered School (1928, repr. 1969); L. A. Cremin, The Transformation of the School (1961, repr. 1964); P. A. Graham, Progressive Education from Arcady to Academe (1967); L. Gordon, Gender and Higher Education in the Progressive Era (1990); K. Jervis and C. Montag, ed., Progressive Education for the 1990s (1991).

Progressive Education

 

a bourgeois pedagogical concept whose adherents believe that the content, organization, and methods of instruction, especially in primary school, should be determined by the direct, spontaneous interests and needs of children rather than by the socioeconomic conditions and needs of society. Progressive education seeks to replace the communication of systematic knowledge to children with an organization of the learning process by means of which “the child’s personality has the greatest opportunity to manifest itself” through games, discussions, and other activities based on children’s so-called centers of interests. The teacher’s task is merely to direct his pupils’ activities. The ideas of progressive education constitute a basic part of the pedagogical systems of J.-J. Rousseau, the well-known Belgian pedagogue and psychologist O. Decroly, and J. Dewey.

References in periodicals archive ?
Together, these findings raised the question of whether additional past educational initiatives existed that reflected these four elements sufficiently enough to justify suggesting that they amounted to an overlooked but identifiable variety of progressive education. A systematic examination of published accounts of school improvement activities during the 1920s into the 1960s resulted in the identification of one dozen additional examples of such initiatives that reflected these four elements and that seem to warrant the recognition of a previously overlooked variety of progressive education.
The chapters comprising Part Two include topics such as multiculturalism, progressive education, the psychotherapeutic classroom, sex education, atheism.
Dewey begins by unpacking the binaries between traditional and progressive education. He refers to traditional education as imposing knowledge already known on learners in a context controlled by the teacher, while progressive education leverages possibilities from what is not-yet-known and promotes learner individuality and creativity.
Any institute committed to imparting a progressive education must be aware of the need to redress the patriarchal silencing of women by encouraging a safe space in which they can speak up even in disagreement without intimidation.
According to Nancy, progressive education was a critical factor in the effort towards achieving Vision 2020, while the 11th Malaysia Plan focused on education to build human capital and move towards becoming a developed nation.
Chapter One seeks to situate the Arthurdale Community School within the larger context of the progressive education movement.
Boughaba, executive director of EEC, said:"By practicing HBKU's core value of building synergetic relationships, we aim to partner with premier academic institutions around the world to build progressive education models in Qatar.
She said that we have models of education based on inclusive ideas and teachings and a highly talented young generation but unfortunately, we have not been able to mainstream the ideals of modern and progressive education. She said that the teachers training around the modern notions of education would also play a key role in turning Pakistan a pluralistic society.
Speaking at the occasion, Ali Raza Siddiqui, Chairman Future Trust, said "Our partnership with USAID will provide a great opportunity to the youth of Pakistan in acquiring progressive education and career guidance"
Race and the Origins of Progressive Education, 1880-1929.
Since the mid-20th century, American schools (both state run and private) have been guided dominantly by the principles of so-called "progressive education."
Sam Stack has a comprehensive body of work revolving around the main themes of The Arthurdale School, biography and the impact of individual educators on education, the philosophy of John Dewey, progressive education, the rural education experience, issues in community education, the school as a social institution, and the impact of the philosophy of education.

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