The Fundamental Basis Of Progressive Education Education Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

John Deweys book presents the fundamental basis of progressive education while addressing the close correlation between experience and education. Experience and education are the key ingredients to help the human mind develop intellect and moral judgment. The interactive process as a delivery method in learning is important because it stimulates the mental process of perception and cognition while inducing influence and experience. Dewey emphasizes the importance of the educator's responsibility to provide positive experiences to each individual student to ensure they are learning with full capability. Dewey provides his philosophical insights on progressive and traditional education while introducing the theory of experiential continuum and continuity.

The educational philosophy between progressive and traditional education is discussed in the first chapter of Experience and Education. Dewy believes that education is strongly influenced by information and skills which have been passed down from the previous generation to the next. He is very critical regarding static teaching methods used in traditional education. Static teaching methods are often viewed by contemporary philosophers as being an antiquated way of teaching. Static teaching often relies on paper and chalk as opposed to the interactive approach which encourages student engagement and discussions. The methods of traditional education deal with a relatively structured and disciplined approach to education. Traditional education uses the disciplined approach by imposing adult standards and moral judgment. According to Dewey, traditional education disperses the information collected through history with text books and instruction from a teacher without displaying a connection between the past and present. Ultimately, the methods of traditional education have the ability to produce experiences, but the real question is whether these experiences have a positive or negative affect on education.

The progressive method is a hands-on type of learning that is based upon a reasonably unstructured and free learning environment. The general appeal of traditional education had declined due to the rise in progressive education. The increase in new education and progressive schools is the product of society's malcontent with traditional education. Dewy explains that there is always a danger when any new movement openly rejects the aims and methods of the preceding approach to education. He warns that the new reform movement could possibly could carry a negative connotation of rebelliousness instead of approaching the progressive methods in a constructive manner. Dewey believed that the misunderstandings in the new movement of progressive teaching was the biggest threat to the future of progressive education. Therefore, the new educational philosophies could be rejected instead of being embraced by society. Dewey clearly supports progressive education and disapproves the view that the responsibilities of an educator are not important in an educational environment. Dewey argues throughout the book that the progressive instructor would have to work harder to meet each individual students' needs as opposed to a traditional educator.

Every educator has the obligation to create beneficial educative experiences by teaching their students to organize fact-based comprehension and perform an analysis of newly learned ideas. Discussions that reflect on text help students to clarify, enlighten and create group comprehension and communication about what has been learned. The objective in the methods of instruction are to prepare students for future responsibilities in life as they transition into adulthood. Dewy explains in Experience and Education, "Teachers are the agents through which knowledge and skills are communicated and rules of conduct are enforced." The implementation of student engagement and discussion sessions are beneficial in the learning process because they help to relate the student to real-life experiences.

Teaching is an occupation that requires an ongoing development in the process of instruction. Courage, love and pure patience are essential in practicing different methods of teaching to ensure that students understand the concepts. The qualities of a true progressive educator include decisiveness, passion, patience and joy of evolving the intellect of their students. Progressive instructors often reflect on what they have learned from personal experience to help reshape their educational methods and positions. The unrelenting demands of teaching are only achieved by those who have a true passion in the profession of teaching.

There are many responsibilities that educators must accept to expand their teaching methods and adapt to the learning process of their students. The evaluations of teaching correlate with austere practice and intentions to reform teacher education. Effective teaching is displayed by those who fully understand the responsibilities of teaching while providing an academic agenda. Instructors assume the responsibility for selecting objective conditions and understanding the needs and capacities of the students who are learning. These objective conditions include what is taught by the educator and the method of teaching, as well as the tone of voice in which particular connotations are inferred by the student. The educator has the ability to directly influence the experience of their students and determining the best setting for interaction in a learning environment. Fortunately, educators that can live up to these standards significantly help to improve and evolve the intellect of society as a whole.

Dewey states in Chapter 2 that not all experiences are educative and that some experiences can actually have a negative impact on education. The goal of experience-based learning is to create productive experiences while progressively guiding the students in a positive direction. The maturity and experience of an adult educator enables them to evaluate each experience in a way that a younger individual with less experience can't achieve. An improper approach to teaching can develop a negative stigma to the educational experience as a whole. Dewy explains, "A philosophy of education, like any theory, has to be stated in words, in symbols. But so far as it is more than verbal it is a plan for conducting education." He gives an example of a negative educational experience such as engender callousness in that it "may produce lack of sensitivity and of responsiveness."

All experiences, to a certain degree, are affected by the objective conditions that take part in the process of creating these experiences. Knowledge, preconceptions and prior experience also help to build on the development of educational experiences. Educational experiences have the ability to expand the limits of opportunity for the student or impose a negative stigma while preventing affirmative learning for the individual. Dewey argues that the instructor needs to ask themselves, "Does this form of growth create conditions for further growth, or does it set up conditions that shut off the person who has grown in this particular direction from the occasions, stimuli, and opportunities for continuing growth in new directions?" The goal of education is to provide positive experiences that inspire the student to desire to learn more while the educator has the important role to promote these good experiences. When the student associates learning with positive experiences, the pure ambition of learning significantly increases the chances of future success.

In the third chapter of John Dewey's book Experience and Education, the author determines the contextual connection between experience and educational purposes. Dewey also introduces the theory of experiential continuum and explains that experience originates from the interaction of applied principles that include continuity and interaction. The principle of continuity is the idea that a person's experience has the ability to greatly influence their future, whether it has a positive or negative impact on their life.

Applying the principle of continuity to education results in focusing on the future in every stage of the educational process. Although the principle of continuity can be applied in some way to almost every instance, the true quality of the present experience effects the way in which the principle applies. Dewey adds that the principle of continuity is easily misunderstood in traditional education. He believes the principle is badly distorted in traditional education because it follows the assumption that the reason for learning specific subjects will be needed in the future which prepares them for adulthood.

The interaction principle deals with the situational influence on an individual's experience. Dewey explains that one's influence and experience has the possibility to develop a negative moral compass as he gives an example of burglars, gangsters and corrupt politicians. In his example of the burglar, Dewey states that if a burglar has a direction in the career of burglary, with practice they have the ability to grow in efficiency as a burglar. Dewey uses the principle of continuity to establish a difference between experiences that will have a positive educational effect or an uneducated negative effect.

The understanding and integration in the study of educational philosophy, history of education, and educational sociology will help to be very beneficial to teachers in the effort to provide quality education to their students. Education is the process in which an individual learns by gaining knowledge and ideas that are focused on a particluar subject or set of skills. Social foundations are built upon the fundamental elements of the education process which rely on the relationships between school, culture, society and education as a whole. These educational foundations combine the study of educational philosophy, history of education, and educational sociology to benefit the teachers and students. Quality education is the key ingredient in building on the successes into the student's future

Schooling is interconnected to education in which a person attends school to acquire skills in curricular and extracurricular activities that enables them to gain knowledge in order to become an educated member of society. Dewey explains that social control is often learned by young students early in their educational career. He provides some examples of social control that help the student handle situations of everyday life such as children at recess playing games. These games often rely on a set of rules and conduct that each individual is expected to follow. Without specific rules set for everyone, the game cannot exist. If disputes ensue, there is usually a referee or individual that is given authority to appeal a decision regarding the game.

The benefits of schooling promote the desired attributes of students such as learning authority, respect, and time management. At first glance, it may be difficult to tell the difference between education and training but there are significant differences in training and education when examined more closely. Education deals with a person's individual knowledge as well as developing their intellect. Education is not necessarily about being hired for a job but rather furthering knowledge in various fields of study. Training focuses closely on learning a specific skill and the mechanics of a specified job that will ultimately make an individual more employable in the desired field.

Dewey beleives that everyone should have freedom to continue learning thoughout their lifetime. He explains, "The only freedom that is of enduring importance is freedom of intelligence, that is to say, freedom of observation and of judgment exercised in behalf of purposes that are intrinsically worth while." At times, educators may even be required to take away the student's temporary freedom in order to present the imperative freedom of intelligence. Knowledge and skills are essential in understanding and dealing effectively with everyday life situations as the process of learning continues throughout a person's lifetime.

The influence of an individual's experiences has the ability to evoke a cognitive state which aid in the improvement of one's initiative and ambition. Experience and education are closely connected with the interactive process of learning while initiating the development of social skills. A person's experience has the ability to greatly influence their future, whether it has a positive or negative impact on their life. Dewey explains that the growth of an individual's influence and experience can affect the direction of one's future growth.

The educator has the duty of evaluating the experiences of each student while anticipating which direction the experience is heading. Dewey states, "A primary responsibility of educators is that they not only be aware of the general principle in the shaping of an actual experience by environing conditions, but that they also recognize in the concrete what surroundings are conducive to having experiences that lead to growth." He believes that the student's motivation to learn is just as important as the knowledge that is learned. The teacher should be directly involved in helping the student develop a reason for learning and avoid distractions that may hinder the process of learning. Experience-based learning is beneficial in creating productive experiences while progressively guiding the students in a positive direction.

The author, John Dewey, is an influential visionary concerning educational philosophies of the 20th century that paved the way for the new approach to education which is used presently. Many ideas on educational theories build on the foundation of Dewey's philosophies. Dewey's educational philosophies directly depend on the quality of experience in a learning environment that lead to positive experiences regarding education in the future. Dewey clarifies the methods and conditions of his educational philosophies which attribute experience as the fundamental form of learning. Dewey emphasizes the importance of the educator's responsibility to provide positive experiences to each individual student to ensure they are learning with full capability. The foundation of his theories and philosophies follow the concept that students need to expand knowledge through experience, develop control over their learning and not be subjected to the traditional ways of static learning. Dewey's book, Experience and Education is a well organized compilation of philosophical ideas with clear concepts and the use of real-life analogies. Many progressive educators have been influenced by Dewey's theories and were able to improve the effectiveness of their teaching based on his views.