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Essay about Progressivism: A Better Approach to Education

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Progressivism: A Better Approach to Education


Being a student for the majority of my life, I had never fully understood why anyone would desire to be a teacher. But after four semesters at College, I am slowly changing my attitude. As an education major, I now attend real classrooms and observe the wonders of how a young child’s mind works. Through my observations in actual class settings, I have also come to realize how delicate a child’s mind is and that the slightest external influence can build or destroy that child. I too want to experience the joy and wonder of seeing a young ingenuous mind finally understanding a new concept. I want to see the student blossom and grow as a result of change and experience, not only in a classroom setting, but also through social interactions with his or her peers.

I believe these goals can be accomplished through progressivism's approach to education. This educational philosophy emphasizes democracy, student needs, and practical activities, and assumes that children learn best in a child-centered curriculum. By focusing on concepts the child enjoys, he or she will be more likely to excel in that subject. I also believe that education should be an enriching process of ongoing growth, learning from previous experiences, problems, and changes. These experiences can be observed in the classroom -- where the student learns from his or her mistakes in difficult subjects, or learns perhaps through helping another student when no one else can to reach the student, as well as in social interaction with peers -- where the student develops his or her own ethical code of what is right and wrong through his or her own actions, as well as the actions of others. This method will provide a child wit...


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...ed—and even encouraged to voice his or her views, and not be expected to accept someone else’s ideas as his or her own. As an educator, I plan to make the most of the short time I get to spend with each student. I hope to guide each child to forming his or her own belief system, and to learning from what he or she already knows and from what he or she experiences.

I feel that there is no better time to incorporate this philosophy into everyday teaching methods than when a child is in his or her early childhood years. Hopefully, each child will carry with him or her from my teachings an expanded mind and a higher level of knowledge; however, I also hope that that child may take what he or she learns from social interaction with peers and develop a code of ethics that will stay with the child, unchanging except through further personal experiences, through adulthood.


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