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Progressive Education: How Progressive Learning Helps a Child

October 30, 2018

Education is a good thing. Everyone would agree with this statement. However, while everyone agrees to this, there’s a debate worldwide on what education is best. On one side of the debate are  the traditionalists, and the other half stands for progressive education.

How Progressive Education differs from Traditional Education

Traditional education is practiced in many private Christian schools. One type of traditionalism is education that emphasizes the teaching of classic literature and languages. This curriculum teaches students the basic skills needed as they progress from primary to higher grades.

On the other hand, progressive education sees schools as agencies of social service with the purpose of preparing kids for the political, social, and economic realities of life. Progressive learning includes job skills training, psychological conditioning, and certain forms of social indoctrination. Progressive education advocates believe the school needs to be child-centered instead of subject-centered.

Here are the key differences between progressive and traditional education methods:

  • Traditional education treats school as a way to prepare students for life, while progressive education treats school as a part of life.
  • In traditional schools, learning is passive. These schools demand children sit and listen to the information laid out in front of them. In progressive education, children are encouraged to actively participate in classes, to plan and solve problems.
  • Teachers in traditional schools are the sole sources of authority and information, while the teachers in progressive schools act as guides who foster thinking.
  • In a traditional education system, parents aren’t involved in their child’s learning. However, with progressive learning, parents are treated as the primary teachers of the children. They are the planners, the goal setters, and they also serve as resources.
  • Decision-making in traditional schools is based centrally and is delivered by the administration. In progressive schools, the direction of the school is determined by all constituent groups.
  • Traditional learning is linear, mostly with an accumulation of facts, skill mastery, and memorization. Lessons are filled with hours of lectures and worksheets. Student progress is determined by test and exam scores. On the other hand, progressive learning is spiral-based and has depth. Learning stems from play, experience, and interaction.
  • School is a chore for students when it comes to traditional education Learning is a fun and challenging part of life in progressive education.

How Progressive Learning Helps Children

Progressive education has many benefits for children, and it doesn’t limit them. Its philosophy embraces the belief that children should be taught how to think and that test results are not sufficient to measure how much a child knows. Progressive education systems do not view a students’ grades as the sole indicator of their progress. The learning process is taken to heart and is child-centered. Hands-on projects and interactive classroom lessons are the core of progressive education.

Progressive learning emphasizes the importance of experiential learning and learning by doing. A student’s learning capacity is enhanced by letting them engage in activities that put their knowledge to use. This, in turn, will develop their understanding. Students  explore. They love learning. Children do more than memorize facts in a progressive school.

Oftentimes, experiential learning is considered to be the best way for children to handle real-life situations. Progressive education also develops students’ social skills, teamwork, creativity, critical thinking, and independence. These skills are the focus.  A progressive education helps prepare a child for college and beyond.

The more progressive learning practices a school uses, the more they instill the love of learning within students. At these schools, learning is not a task, but a fun and challenging thing to do, a way of life.

The world revolves every single day, and so do our needs. Children must always be hungry for learning to ensure they are proactive, knowledge-seeking adults. Being an active learner who knows how to work independently, as well as with a group of people, prepares students to take on new challenges.

Are you in the hunt of a good school for your children that promotes progressive learning? Look no further, visit and check out Voyagers Community School today!

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