Progressivism: A Great Change for Education – by: Lisa Chapas

Education philosophies are the very foundation of education.  Each has its own style, purpose, and benefits.  I have learned a lot about the various philosophies of education over the past 3 weeks.  Of these, progressivism is the one that stands out the most to me.  Progressivism is a student centered philosophy that focuses on real world problems and real world solutions.  It emphasizes hands-on activities which help to reinforce the subject matter through experiences.  While progressivism in and of itself has great value and benefit, it is only complimented when used in conjunction with aspects of the other philosophies of education.

The means by which a philosophy can be implemented in a classroom are abundant.  They are only limited by the teachers experience, imagination, and ability to articulate their teaching methods.  When I think about my future classroom and how I will implement a progressive philosophy, many thoughts come to mind.  With each subject comes a flood of great ideas.        For example, I view science as one of the best subjects where hands-on activities can be implemented.  Some of the activities I hope to engage my students in include planting seeds and watching and documenting their growth.  Studying lifecycles by watching tadpoles grow into frogs and caterpillars turn into butterflies are also excellent learning activities.  In math, we will play math related games that allow the children solve problems related to real life situations.  For language arts, I will implement reading clubs that involve the children in a number of ways.  At the beginning of the year, students will help select books for our reading list.  Children will then be divided into smaller ‘reading-club’ groups.  These groups will meet weekly and students will be encouraged to share with their group what they have been reading.

These are just a few examples of the ways I plan to implement a philosophy of progressivism into my future classroom.  If you would like to learn more about progressivism and how it could benefit your classroom, check out the links below.

Progressivism: Overview & Practical Teaching Examples

Five Steps to Create a Progressive, Student-Centered Classroom



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