Progressivism: Everything You Need to Know

This is an ideology that suggests that educators can do more to assist their students in receiving quality education by adopting an academic approach that involves positive reinforcement and problem solving rather than merely repeating a scripted teaching program that prevents students from being individuals. 

Progressivism was heavily popularized by John Dewey and John Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau suggested in his works that society was the cause of the rise of cruel and bad people. He believed that people are naturally good and are corrupted by the arbitrary demands and ideals of society. He believed that allowing children to follow their natural proclivity to do good and follow their interests, rather than a curriculum that does not consider or acknowledge their individuality, would do society a great deal of good and allow more positive events and actions to take place.

Dewey was of the opinion that social interaction and problem-solving abilities brought out the best in people and helped them to learn more effectively. This belief prompted him to develop a scientific problem-solving method and experimentalism. Because progressivists generally disagreed on the essential elements of the movement, the movement manifests in diverse ways. One thing that progressivists did agree on was the need to abandon certain features of the traditional public schooling system, including but not limited to the idea of teachers as the major influencers of education. 

Progressivism encourages experience and exploration in the classroom. Students are given the tools they need to learn by teachers and allowed to explore freely. Teachers guide the students as they explore and interact with each other, facilitating mental, physical, social, and academic growth.

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