JOSEPH P. SANOPAO MAEM-ENGLISH
EDUC 112- MR. HECTOR P. CARBON
My personal philosophy of education is most closely related to progressivism,
which is a school of thought advocating that truth is determined by function.
Progressivism is an educational philosophy focused on providing students with the skills
and knowledge necessary not only to survive but also to succeed in a contemporary and
competitive society. William James and John Dewey are accredited for developing the
characteristically American philosophy of education that is progressivism.
As the name suggests, progressivism is a philosophy that is adaptable for society's
current state. It is a philosophy that promotes education aimed at helping students to
develop the kind of problem solving skills that will enable them to function successfully
in a competitive society. Progressivism focuses on educating students in a manner that
leads them to become productive adults that adeptly function in an ever-changing
Progressivism curriculum has a strong emphasis on problem solving and analysis,
for these skills are invaluable in today's society. Without problem solving abilities, an
individual is lost and alone in the puzzling maze of society that characterizes the world
today. Progressivism curriculum is centered on activities and instruction that challenge
the students' problem solving and analysis abilities in an effort to strengthen these skills.
Since progressivism is influenced by contemporary society, it is only appropriate that the
progressivism curriculum is founded on providing for students instruction that ranges
from basic real-world skills to higher levels of investigation and analysis.
In line with the progressivism philosophy, the role of the teacher is to facilitate
learning by posing questions for students that exercise their minds in a practical
manner. Teachers are responsible for the preparation of students for the real world
and it is within the classroom setting.
The Progressive movement began to take form in America in the 1830’s. It was
formed as a reaction to the traditional model of teaching, instruction, curriculum and
pedagogy. The traditional model in the state, common, or public schooling system was
one seeking conformity, cultural uniformity, and one that shunned diversity. The
traditional model was viewed as the best way to further the goals of an expanding
economy that was becoming more industrialized and urbanized. The traditional model
sought to produce dutiful, not critical thinkers (Kliebard).
Like any substantial movement in education, there were variances in the way
proponents sought to implement their ideas and ideals. However, two essentials were
generally agreed upon. One was the idea that diversity should be respected and given
consideration in all aspects of education. The second was that education should
promote critically engaged, socially active, critical thinkers. The ultimate goal was to
prepare students to engage in the community at large and to collaborate with others to
achieve a common good (Apple, Beane).
The name “progressive” became the name of the movement roughly between
1890 and 1920. It was during this time that more and more educators and theorists
began to react toward the prevailing political and social affect our economic and social
structure was having on education. As we became more industrialized and urbanized,
our communities changed. As the communities changed, we were seen as losing our
democratic, neighborhood, family oriented society. We were more focused on business
production (University of Vermont).
Progressive education aimed to make schools effective agents of a democratic
society. While there were numerous educators that articulated the beliefs that
progressive education was a positive force in education, one of the greatest influences
on the movement was John Dewey. Dewey articulated the message that students were
missing valuable components of education, namely, the arts and a sense of democratic
participation. Since our communities were changing in ways that exacerbated these
deficiencies, he advocated for schools to re-instill these important societal functions.
Dewey pioneered the Laboratory School at the University of Chicago from 1896 to 1904.
He experimented with curriculum and instruction and provided compelling that the
progressive model could be effective (University of Vermont).
Dewey influenced countless educators. Education reformers such as Francis Parker and
Ella Young were greatly influenced by Dewey’s work. Dewey wrote many books and
spent a great deal of time lecturing at conferences and universities. As a result of his
work, many other experimental schools emerged and the progressive movement grew
Progressives also endured setbacks that originated both within and without the
movement. Progressive legislative reforms often failed to bring about their desired
effects, or were simply invalidated by the judiciary. Progressives never really decided
whether to view the business community, in the age of monopoly, as a socio-economic
villain to defeat or victim to defend; the result was an oft-confused and contradictory
set of policies. And the movement was plagued with internal contradictions that
undermined its very effectiveness; racism, a patronizing approach toward immigrant
ethnicities, and a willingness to subvert cherished democratic norms for the sake of
stomping out "radicalism" all became troubling aspects of Progressivism's legacy.
Thus, Progressivism was a paradoxical mixture of success and failure, humanism
and discrimination. Progressives inaugurated a modern liberal philosophy that
demanded an activist, robust federal government in place of the old laissez-faire
political system. Changing times demanded a changing role for the state, they argued,
and such claims would reverberate again and again through the twentieth century, from
the New Deal of the 1930s to the Great Society of the 1960s. Conservatives, in turn,
developed their own modern philosophy in opposition to the big-government
movements inaugurated by the Progressives, advocating less government intervention
and lower taxes and spending. By inaugurating the modern framework of debate over
political economy, Progressives ensured their lasting influence, even if their own epoch
did not survive the First World War.
Progressivism and Behaviorism And Their Relationships to Instruction, Dr. Thomas Doyal
Uncertain Victory, Social Democracy and Progressivism in European and American
Thought, James T. Kloppenberg