Progressivism Teaching

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 147
  • Published: September 25, 2011
Read full document
Text Preview
Philosophical Essay

As a student myself, I know how boring it can be for a teacher to stand in front of the classroom and lecture. It seems like they talk forever and usually my mind drifts into the unknown, counting the dots on the ceiling. It is unfortunate that many students today are subject to this form of teaching and learning. I believe that the most effective teaching method involves assignments that directly relate to the students’ lives, problem-based learning and activities that impact students physically, intellectually, socially, and emotionally. The teaching philosophy that includes all of these learning tools is progressivism. According to our textbook, “progressivism is an educational philosophy emphasizing real-world problem solving and individual development.” This method of teaching involves the students in interactive learning while increasing their desire for knowledge. Once they realize that the information being taught actually relates to them, they will invest their time and energy in learning more. In the scenario given in the textbook, the American History class does not seem interested in the subject at hand. The students are not volunteering to answer questions, and most often they just want the teacher to give them the correct answer. Using progressivism as my teaching method I will engage the students in learning by relating the material to their lives, including problem-based learning activities, and impacting them physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally. The first method I will use to get my American History students excited about learning the material will be relating the lessons to their lives. When I ask them questions, they often want me to describe every bit of information in the problem to them until I basically give them the answer to the question. The answer to the question seems to be exactly what they want. The students appear to have no desire to learn and will often say, “C’mon, just tell us what you want us to know,” and “why do we have to learn this stuff?” As a progressivist I understand that my students need interactive lessons and require that the material relate to their lives in order to gain interest. An example of such a lesson could be relating the history of America to them and their families. Some of the questions and investigative learning could involve family trees, a “heritage hunt,” and family name diagrams. For the students to see where their families came from and the different paths that have lead to them could be a very powerful and interactive experience. This type of exercise is important for them to realize that America was not always here, and that many different heritages and customs have made America what it is today. This type of learning activity will increase the students’ desire to learn and will change their questions from, “Why do we have to learn this stuff,” to “Can we learn more about this stuff?” A second technique that will stimulate the students’ involvement in the classroom is through problem-based learning. The students in my American History class ask me for the answers to questions rather than attempting to learn on their own. This type of stagnant learning would impede the students’ ability to learn in the future and destroy their desire for knowledge. In order to promote active learning within the classroom and student involvement, I will construct lesson plans designed solely for group-work and investigative studies. An activity that could take place in this sort of lesson could be the students being placed into groups with the task of constructing a mural of the American map during the Civil War. They will need to include such things as state lines, bodies of water and sites of important battles. The students will have to research what we have learned in order to create the map as well as place the battle sites and other various features throughout the mural. Creative thinking such as what will be required for a...
tracking img