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Philosophy OF Progressivism
M.Sc. Nursingprevious year
It is an American philosophy, which is a revolt against the
‘formal/conventional/traditional’ system of education. It become
popular, in 1929 the economic depression of USA adversely
affected the educational system of the country. the principles
underlying progressive education have influenced the modern
educational theories and practices to a very great extent all over the
Education is centered around for the present life itself. The
development of an individual and the society is only
possible, when education facilitates the growth of every
phase of the child.
Progressivism is a theory of education that is concerned with
“learning by doing “that children learn best when pursuing
their own interests and satisfying their own needs.
Progressivists believe that people learn best from what they
consider most relevant to their lives. Progressivists center
curriculum on their needs, experience, interest and abilities of
student. Provoke curiosity in students.
John Dewey ; William James; G Thomas Lawrence; William
A large number of schools in Europe and USA
John Dewey (1859-1952)
An American philosopher, psychologist and educational
His philosophy based on pragmatism.
He established “Laboratory School” in 1896.
He was the father of educational psychology.
He introduce progressive method of teaching.
he believed that book learning was no substitute for
actually doing things.
What is progressivism?
Progressivism is the educational philosophy which is grounded in
the “pure” philosophy of pragmatism.
Pragmatic ontology holds that reality is in the area of everyday
life, personal experience. Its view is that ideas should be tested
for their utility.
Progressivism focuses on real-world problem solving and
CHARACTERISTICS of progressivism
Emphasis on learning by doing
Integrated curriculum focused on thematic units
Strong emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking
Group work and development of social skills
Understanding and action as the goals of learning as opposed to rote
Collaborative and cooperative learning projects
Education for social responsibility and democracy
Concept of progressivism
Contemporary reform movement in educational, social
and political affairs.
Dewey viewed the school as a miniature democratic
society in which students could learn and practice the skill
and tools necessary for democratic living.
Educational progressivism is the belief that education must
be based on the principle that humans are social
animals who learn best in real-life activities with other
The skills and tools of learning include problem solving
methods and scientific inquiry.
Learning experience include cooperative behaviors and
Schools can transmit the culture of society while it
prepares students in the changing world.
This philosophy places emphasis on how to think and nor what
Progressive education focused on the child as the learner rather
than on subject, emphasized activities and experiences rather
than verbal and literary skills and encouraged cooperative group
learning activities rather than competitive individualized lesson
Aims of education
To develop the personality of an individual through providing a
democratic environment in the educational institutions.
An all-round development of child.
co-operative behavior and social participation.
Education of the whole man, or whole personality, which
includes the physical, emotional, social and intellectual aspects
of the individual.
Progressivism and curriculum
It should be based on the actual giving environment to the child. It
must reflect his daily life.
The curriculum is interdisciplinary in nature.
Books and subject matter were part of the learning process rather
than sources of ultimate knowledge.
Curriculum is based on students' interests, involves the application
of human problems and affairs.
It uses the life experience approach to fit the student for future
Curriculum is based on a specific group of students.
Political; moral; social; vocational ; intellectual;
mathematics; general science, languages; integration of
Progressivism and method of teaching
Project method- active participation of the pupils in learning.
Socialized method- to bring all the individual into a group system of interaction.
Planning and participation in the activities.
Progressivism and the Teacher
The human elements, human beings are given more importance. The teacher
has to meet the needs of pupil as good human being.
As a facilitator or guide.
Determine student interest.
Involve students in curriculum development.
Stimulate direct learning process.
The teacher, who is vital in education process and having richer,
superior experience and can analyse the present situation. Teacher will act as a
stage setter, guide and coordinator but he is not total authority, just he guides
Progressivism and the School
School is a cooperative enterprise, it provide conductive
environment for democratic growth of the child.
Assessment by evaluation of child’s project and productions.
Assessment by the class presentation or workshop organized
by group of learner.
Quizzes or oral questioning.
Performance based assessment.
Multiple choice question
Progressivists believe that the education should focus on the child rather
than the subject matter. The student’s interests are important, as is
integration of thinking, feeling, and doing. Learners should be active
and learn to solve problems by experimenting and reflecting on their
experience. School should help the students develop personal and social
values so that they can become thoughtful, productive, citizen. because
society is always changing, new ideas are important to make the future
better than the past.
The critics of progressive method of teaching say that the pupils
the progressive classroom lack in the discipline.
Progressivism system of education required more funding or
Countries are not that much strong financially or have budget to
provide material for practical work.
The role of teacher is only to facilitate or guide means not
required to expert in their subject.
By understanding this philosophy of education, as a teacher,
we have to know which approach can suit well to our learners’
needs. Despite of the good points of process approach
underlying this philosophy.
It is provide with the passage of time that his philosophy and
concept of education and curriculum is very useful and
effective to till date and helping to prepare skilled and useful
citizens for a society.
1. Pramilaa R. Progressivism, Nursing Communication And Education
Technology. 1st Edition. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P)
Ltd; 2010. Page No : 150-151
2. Neeraja KP. Progressivism, Textbook of Nursing Education.1st Edition. New
Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd; 2003. Page No: 32-33
3. Clement Dr. I. Progressivism, Textbook on Communication And Education
Technology. 3rd Edition. Bangalore: EMMESS Medical Publishers; 2016.
Page No: 171-172