Philosophy Statement

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Philosophy Statement

The concept of progressivism was introduced as early as 1875, but it was not until the 1920’s that this movement became more widely known. Credit for the success of progressivism is given to John Dewey, founder of the Laboratory School at the University of Chicago. Dewey began this educational movement of encouraging schools to abandon the essentialist curriculum of the traditional disciplines, and, instead navigate toward a curriculum centered on the experiences, interests, and abilities of the student.

The foundation of progressivism lies within the concept of individuality; students are encouraged to be creative, articulate their own ideas, value individual differences, and develop social virtues. It is pertinent that individuals are capable of interacting with others to form a successful society. Progress and change are fundamentals of progressivism, and society is a changing entity that always needs to be kept up with. Their classrooms are “student-centered” and even though they learn from textbooks, their focus is on learning through experience and hands-on activities. Active participation is key; students participate in field trips, cooperative learning, and group activities. Progressivists feel that student’s learning is increased and more meaningful when engaged in activities that have meaning to them. Jerome Bruner’s approach, discovery learning, asserts that students must be active in the learning process to learn. The teacher presents the students with examples and the students discover the principles for themselves instead of relying on the teacher’s explanations. A similarly related instructional method of Bruner’s is guided discovery, a method in which the...

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...tuations in order to engage the student’s interest. I will assist my students in developing new insights and connecting them with their prior learning. Ideas will be presented as broad concepts and then broken down into smaller parts.

Progressivism and constructivism are two views of learning that my beliefs coincide with. Both are student centered and share the goal of guiding students that will become intelligent, social individuals capable of solving complex situations while still respecting other’s perspectives. Both views realize that education itself is an enriching process of ongoing, continual growth. I realize that an effective teacher must know how to discover her student’s individual needs and differences to determine the appropriate teaching methods to use. Classroom learning is a reciprocal process between students and teachers.
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