- Aug 2023
The revolt against the classical dissectors and drillmasterswas justified. So was the new interest in experimental science.The revolt against liberal education was not justified. Neitherwas the belief that the method of experimental science couldreplace the methods of history, philosophy, and the arts.
These various shifts in culture and perspective were concurrent with the shift in education from the formal to the progressive.
See also Education: A Short Introduction
- Jun 2023
Given the committee’s constitution, it’s all the more remarkable that itproduced probably the single strongest official impetus for progressive educationin the 20th century anywhere in the world.
Gary Thomas feels that the 1960s Plowden Report was the strongest official impetus for progressive education in the 20th century.
He suggest that it was a natural successor to the Hadow Report.
Neville Bennett’s Teaching Styles and PupilProgress
Bennett, Neville. Teaching Styles and Pupil Progress. Open Books, 1976.
Informal teaching could, however, seemingly go wrong moreeasily than formal teaching.
The Reggio Emilia approach has become world famous (see Figure 2).Originating at more or less the same time as changes to ideas about curriculumand styles of teaching in the UK and the USA, it especially caught theimagination of educators worldwide for its energy and for the commitmentinvested by all in the community to make it a success. It combined the discoveryapproaches of the progressive educators with a dedication to communityinvolvement and especially the involvement of parents in education.
Table 1. Progressive versus formal education
a nice little comparative table
The progressives say that the only kind ofmeaningful motivation comes through interest and absorption in the task orsubject itself: it’s called ‘intrinsic motivation’ in the jargon.
There are many things that we have to take on trust; everyminute of every day we have to accept the testimony and the guidance of thosewho are in a position to offer an authoritative view.
Perhaps there is a need for balance between the two perspectives of formal and progressive education. While one can teach another the broad strokes of the "rules" of note taking, for example, using the zettelkasten method and even give examples of the good and the bad, the affordances, and tricks, individuals are still going to need to try things out to see what works for them in various situations and for their specific needs. In the end, its nice to have someone hand one the broad "rules" (and importantly the reasons for them), so that one has a set of tools which they can then practice as an art.
While the progressives think of education involving discovery and play, theformalists say that to put the emphasis on discovery is to ignore the tapestry ofestablished ideas, rules, and traditions that have been handed down to us fromcountless earlier generations.
For progressives, learning is natural; it’s happening all the time and it’s whathumans are programmed for. Children learn to talk, for example, without anyteaching at all. Progressive educators say that this learning of language providesus with a lesson: it shows that we are almost hard-wired for complex learning—it comes easily, if the circumstances for its acquisition are right. We shouldmake use of this strength, putting children in positions where they have theopportunity to think rather than telling them what to think.
Progressive education stance: learning is easy and we've got an innate ability to do complex learning tasks. As a result, putting students into situations where they have the ability to think is better than simply telling them what to think, which might be a more formalist stance.
For the progressives, education is about supporting the ability to think critically:it should be child centred and focused on problem solving.
- teaching styles
- zettelkasten method
- Neville Bennett
- Hadow Report
- intrinsic motivation
- breaking the rules
- craft vs art
- Reggio Emilia
- zettelkasten rules
- Gary Thomas
- progressive education
- want to read
- formal vs progressive education
- community design
- questioning authority
- Plowden Report
- Apr 2023
If there is a core theme to the formal position it is that education isabout passing on information; for formalists, culture and civilization represent astore of ideas and wisdom which have to be handed on to new generations.Teaching is at the heart of this transmission; and the process of transmission iseducation.
There are, one might say, conservativeand liberal interpretations of this world view—the conservative putting theemphasis on transmission itself, on telling, and the liberal putting the emphasismore on induction, on initiation by involvement with culture’s established ideas.
The formal educational viewpoint (in contrast to progressive education) can broadly be broken into conservative and liberal interpretations The conservative viewpoint focuses on transmission of knowledge while the liberal places its focus on initiation or induction into a culture's formative ideas.
While progressive educators stress the child’s development from within,formalists put the emphasis, by contrast, on formation from without—formationthat comes from immersion in the knowledge, ideas, beliefs, concepts, andvisions of society, culture, civilization.
We could saythat he was the first progressive educator not simply because he encouraged hiscontemporaries and successors to think about the child as a special kind oflearner, but also because of his views on education’s role in helping to developan open, liberal polity. A political system, he said, needs people who are fair,open-minded, and think for themselves; it doesn’t want people who aresubservient to authority.
We could say first, though I highly suspect that his ideas came from somewhere else...