Progressive Education _ Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner.pdf

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Unformatted text preview: 2/17/2021 Progressive Education | Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner Part I: Educational History and Policy Progressive Education 1/25 2/17/2021 Progressive Education | Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner Progressive education is a pedagogical movement that began in the late nineteenth century and has persisted in various forms to the present. More recently, it has been viewed as an alternative to the testoriented instruction legislated by the No Child Left Behind educational funding act.[1] The term “progressive” was engaged to distinguish this education from the traditional curriculum of the 19th century, which was rooted in classical preparation for the university and strongly di erentiated by socioeconomic level. By contrast, progressive education nds its roots in present experience. Most progressive education programs have these qualities in common: Emphasis on learning by doing – hands-on projects, expeditionary learning, experiential learning Integrated curriculum focused on thematic units Integration of entrepreneurship in to education Strong emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking Group work and development of social skills Understanding and action as the goals of learning as opposed to rote knowledge Collaborative and cooperative learning projects Education for social responsibility and democracy Highly personalized education accounting for each individual’s personal goals Integration of community service and service learning projects into the daily curriculum Selection of subject content by looking forward to ask what skills will be needed in future society De-emphasis on textbooks in favor of varied learning resources Emphasis on lifelong learning and social skills Assessment by evaluation of child’s projects and productions 2/25 2/17/2021 Progressive Education | Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner Forerunners Progressive education can be traced as far back as to the works of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, with both being respectively known as paternal forerunners to the ideas that would be demonstrated by theorists such as Dewey. Locke rst speculated, “truth and knowledge… are out of observation and experience rather than manipulation of accepted or given ideas “ (Locke as cited in Hayes, 2007, p. 2). He further discussed the need for children to have concrete experiences in order to learn. Rousseau furthered this assumption in Emile where he made a standpoint against students being subordinate to teachers and that memorization of facts would not lead to an education. (See:Emile, or On Education) Another forerunner to progressive education was Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746–1827). His research and theories closely resemble those outlined by Rousseau in Emile. He is further considered by many to be the “father of modern educational science” (Hayes, 2007, p. 2). His psychological theories pertain to education as they focus on the development of object teaching, that is, he felt that individuals best learned through experiences and through a direct manipulation and experience of objects. He further speculated that children learn through their own internal motivation rather than through compulsion. (See Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic motivation). A teachers task will be to help guide their students as individuals through their learning and allow it unfold naturally. (Butts and Cremin, 1953) The “Progressive Education Movement,” starting in the 1880s and lasting for sixty years, helped boost American public schools from a budding idea to the regular norm. John Dewey, a principal gure in this movement from the 1880s to 1904, set the tone for educational philosophy as well as concrete school reforms. His reactions to the prevailing theories and practices in education, corrections made to these philosophies, and recommendations to teachers and administrators to embrace “the new education,” provide a vital account of the history of the development of educational thinking in the late nineteenth and early twentieth 3/25 2/17/2021 Progressive Education | Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner centuries.4 Dewey placed so called pragmatism above moral absolutes and helped give rise to situational ethics.[2] References: Hayes, William. (2007). Progressive education movement: Is it still a facto in today’s schools? Lanham: Rowman & Little eld Education. Butts, Freeman R. & Cremin, Lawrence A. A history of education in american culture. New York: Henry Hold and Co. John Dewey Beginning in 1897 John Dewey published a summary of his theory on progressive education in School Journal. His theoretical standpoints are divided into 5 sections outlined below. What Education Is: Education according to Dewey is the “participation of the individual in the social consciousness of the race” (Dewey, 1897, para. 1). As such, education should take into account that the student is a social being. The process begins at birth with the child unconsciously gaining knowledge and gradually developing their knowledge to share and partake in society. The educational process has two sides, the psychological and the sociological, with the psychological forming the basis. (Dewey, 1897). A child’s own instincts will help develop the material that is presented to them. These instincts also form the basis of their knowledge with everything building upon it. This forms the basis of Dewey’s assumption that one cannot learn without motivation. Knowledge is a social condition and it is important to help students construct their own learning, as stated: “Hence it is impossible to prepare the child for any precise set of 4/25 2/17/2021 Progressive Education | Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner conditions. To prepare him for the future life means to give him command of himself; it means so to train him that he will have the full and ready use of all his capacities; that his eye and ear and hand may be tools ready to command, that his judgment may be capable of grasping the conditions under which it has to work, and the executive forces be trained to act economically and e ciently” (Dewey, 1897, Para. 7) Instruction must focus on the child as a whole for you can never be sure as to where society may end or where that student will be needed or will take themselves. What the School Is “Education fails because it neglects this fundamental principle of the school as a form of community life. It conceives the school as a place where certain information is to be given, where certain lessons are to be learned, or where certain habits are to be formed” (Dewey, 1897, para. 17) Dewey felt that as education is a social construct, it is therefore a part of society and should re ect the community. Education is the process of living and is not meant to be the preparation of future living (Dewey, 1897), so school must represent the present life. As such, parts of the student’s home life (such as moral and ethical education) should take part in the schooling process. The teacher is a part of this, not as an authoritative gure, but as a member of the community who is there to assist the student. The Subject- Matter of Education According to Dewey, the curriculum in the schools should re ect that of society. The center of the school curriculum should re ect the development of humans in society. The study of the core subjects (language, science, history) should be coupled with the study of cooking, sewing and manual training. Furthermore, he feels that “progress is not in the succession of studies but in the development of new attitudes towards, and new interests in, experience” (Dewey, 1897, para. 38) 5/25 2/17/2021 Progressive Education | Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner The Nature of Method Method is focused on the child’s powers and interests. If the child is thrown into a passive role as a student, absorbing information, the result is a waste of the child’s education. (Dewey, 1897). Information presented to the student will be transformed into new forms, images and symbols by the student so that they t with their development and interests. The development of this is natural. To repress this process and attempt to “substitute the adult for the child” (Dewey, 1897, para. 52) would weaken the intellectual curiosity of the child. The School and Social Progress Education is the most fundamental method of social reconstruction for progress and reform. Dewey believes that “education is a regulation of the process of coming to share in the social consciousness; and that the adjustment of individual activity on the basis of this social consciousness is the only sure method of social reconstruction” (Dewey, 1897, para. 60). As such, Dewey gives way to Social Reconstruction and schools as means to reconstruct society (See Social Reconstruction in Education). Finally, as schools become a means for social reconstruction, our educations must be given the proper equipment to help perform this task and guide their students. Reference: Dewey, John. (1897). My pedagogical creed. School Journal. 54. pp. 77– 80. Retrieved on November 4, 2011 from William Heard Kilpatrick William Heard Kilpatrick (1871–1965) was a pupil of Dewey and one of the most e ective practitioner of the concept as well as the more adept at proliferating the progressive education movement and spreading word of the works of Dewey. He is especially well known for his “project method of teaching” (Hayes, 2007, p. 24). This developed the progressive education notion that students were to be engaged and taught so 6/25 2/17/2021 Progressive Education | Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner that their knowledge may be directed to society for a socially useful need. Like Dewey he also felt that students should be actively engaged in their learning rather than actively disengaged with the simple reading and regurgitation of material. Reference: Hayes, William. (2007). Progressive education movement: Is it still a factor in today’s schools? Lanham: Rowman & Little eld Education. Knoll, Michael (2012). “I had made a mistake”: William H. Kilpatrick and the Project Method. In: Teachers College Record 114 (February), no. 2, 45 pp. Development in the United States[edit] The most famous early practitioner of progressive education was Francis Parker; its best-known spokesperson was the philosopher John Dewey. In 1875 Francis Parker became superintendent of schools in Quincy, Massachusetts after spending two years in Germany studying emerging educational trends on the continent. Parker was opposed to rote learning, believing that there was no value in knowledge without understanding. He argued instead schools should encourage and respect the child’s creativity. Parker’s Quincy System called for child-centered and experience-based learning. He replaced the traditional curriculum with integrated learning units based on core themes related to the knowledge of di erent disciplines. He replaced traditional readers, spellers and grammar books with children’s own writing, literature, and teacher prepared materials. In 1883 Parker left Massachusetts to become Principal of the Cook County Normal School in Chicago, a school that also served to train teachers in Parker’s methods. In 1894 Parker’s Talks on Pedagogics, which drew heavily on the thinking of Fröbel, Pestalozzi and Herbart, became one of the rst American writings on education to gain international fame. That same year, philosopher John Dewey moved from the University of Michigan to the newly established University of Chicago where he be- came chair of the department of philosophy, psychology and education. 7/25 2/17/2021 Progressive Education | Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner He and his wife enrolled their children in Parker’s school before founding their own school two years later. Whereas Parker started with practice and then moved to theory, Dewey began with hypotheses and then devised methods and curricula to test them. By the time Dewey moved to Chicago at the age of thirty- ve, he had already published two books on psychology and applied psychology. He had become dissatis ed with philosophy as pure speculation and was seeking ways to make philosophy directly relevant to practical issues. Moving away from an early interest in Hegel, Dewey proceeded to reject all forms of dualism and dichotomy in favor of a philosophy of experience as a series of uni ed wholes in which everything can be ultimately related. In 1896, John Dewey opened what he called the laboratory school to test his theories and their sociological implications. With Dewey as the director and his wife as principal, the University of Chicago Laboratory school, was dedicated “to discover in administration, selection of subject-matter, methods of learning, teaching, and discipline, how a school could become a cooperative community while developing in individuals their own capacities and satisfy their own needs.” (Cremin, 136) For Dewey the two key goals of developing a cooperative community and developing individuals’ own capacities were not at odds; they were necessary to each other. This unity of purpose lies at the heart of the progressive education philosophy. In 1912, Dewey sent out students of his philosophy to found The Park School of Bu alo and The Park School of Baltimore to put it into practice. These schools operate to this day within a similar progressive approach. At Columbia, Dewey worked with other educators such as Charles Eliot and Abraham Flexner to help bring progressivism into the mainstream of American education. In 1917 Columbia established the Lincoln School of Teachers College “as a laboratory for the working out of an elementary and secondary curriculum which shall eliminate obsolete material and endeavor to work up in usable form material adapted to the needs of modern living.” (Cremin, 282) Based on Flexner’s demand that the modern curriculum “include nothing for which an a rmative case can not be made out” (Cremin, 281) the new school organized its activities around four fundamental elds: science, industry, aesthetics and civics. The 8/25 2/17/2021 Progressive Education | Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner Lincoln School built its curriculum around “units of work” that reorganized traditional subject matter into forms embracing the development of children and the changing needs of adult life. The rst and second grades carried on a study of community life in which they actually built a city. A third grade project growing out of the day to day life of the nearby Hudson river became one of the most celebrated units of the school, a unit on boats, which under the guidance of its legendary teacher Miss Curtis, became an entrée into history, geography, reading, writing, arithmetic, science, art and literature. Each of the units was broadly enough conceived so that di erent children could concentrate on di erent aspects depending on their own interests and needs. Each of the units called for widely diverse student activities, and each sought to deal in depth with some critical aspect of contemporary civilization. Finally each unit engaged children working together cooperatively and also provided opportunities for individual research and exploration. From 1919 to 1955 the Progressive Education Association founded by Stanwood Cobb and others worked to promote a more student-centered approach to education. During the Great Depression the organization conducted an Eight Year study evaluating the e ects of progressive programs. More than 1500 students over four years were compared to an equal number of carefully matched students at conventional schools. When they reached college, the experimental students were found to equal or surpass traditionally educated students on all outcomes: grades, extracurricular participation, dropout rates, intellectual curiosity, and resourcefulness. Moreover, the study found that the more the school departed from the traditional college preparatory program, the better was the record of the graduates. (Kohn, Schools, 232) By mid-century many public school programs had also adopted elements of progressive curriculum. At mid-century Dewey believed that progressive education had “not really penetrated and permeated the foundations of the educational institution.”(Kohn, Schools, 6,7) As the inuence of progressive pedagogy grew broader and more di use, practitioners began to vary their application of progressive principles. As varying interpretations and practices made evaluation of progressive reforms more di cult to assess, critics began to propose alternative approaches. 9/25 2/17/2021 Progressive Education | Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner The seeds of the debate over progressive education can be seen in the di erences of Parker and Dewey. These have to do with how much and by whom curriculum should be worked out from grade to grade, how much the child’s emerging interests should determine classroom activities, the importance of child-centered vs. societal–centered learning, the relationship of community building to individual growth, and especially the relationship between emotion, thought and experience. In 1955 the publication of Rudolf Flesch’s Why Johnny Can’t Read leveled criticism of reading programs at the progressive emphasis on reading in context. The conservative McCarthy era raised questions about the liberal ideas at the roots of the progressive reforms. The launching of Sputnik in 1957 at the height of the cold wargave rise to a number of intellectually competitive approaches to disciplinary knowledge, such as BSCS biology PSSC physics, led by university professors such as Jerome Bruner and Jerrold Zacharias. Interestingly, some of the cold war reforms incorporated elements of progressivism. For example, the work of Zacharias and Bruner was based in the developmental psychology of Jean Piaget and incorporated many of Dewey’s ideas of experiential education. Bruner’s analysis of developmental psychology became the core of a pedagogical movement known as constructivism, which argues that the child is an active participant in making meaning and must be engaged in the progress of education for learning to be e ective. This psychological approach has deep connections to the work of both Parker and Dewey and led to a resurgence of their ideas in second half of the century. In 1963 President Johnson inaugurated the Great Society and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act su used public school programs with funds for sweeping education reforms. At the same time the in ux of federal funding also gave rise to demands for accountability and the behavioral objectives approach of Robert F. Mager and others foreshadowed the No Child Left Behind Act passed in 2002. Against these critics eloquent spokespersons stepped forward in defense of the progressive tradition. The Open Classroom movement, led by Herb Kohl and George Dennison, recalled many of Parker’s child centered reforms.[5][6] [7][8][9] … 10/25 2/17/2021 Progressive Education | Education, Society, & the K-12 Learner The late 1960s and early 1970s saw a rise and decline in the number of progressive schools.[10] There were several reasons for the decline:[11] Demographics: As the baby boom passed, traditional classrooms were no longer as over-enrolled, reducing demand for alternatives. The economy: The oil crisis and recession made shoestring schools less viable. Times changed: With the ending of the Vietnam War, social activism waned. Co-optation: Many schools were co-opted by people who didn’t believe in the original mission. Centralization: The ongoing centralization of school districts Non-implementation: Schools failed to implement a model of shared governance Interpersonal dynamics: Disagreement over school goals, poor group process skills, lack of critical dialogue, and fear of assertive leadership Al e Kohn has been an outspoken critic of the No Child Left Behind Act and a passionate defender of t...
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