I am a supporter of progressive adult education since its purpose displays the features of the 21st century that is transmitting the culture and societal structure. Progressive education is the general direction of the theory and practice of education, which comes, above all, from the theories of John Dewey.
Dewey emphasized the importance of flexibility, function, integrity, and pragmatism in education; and it is not surprising that the mandatory program, which he proposed, was based on these principles. The most progressive educational programs (for example, “Summerhill”) are built on attention to individual students and their essential interests and needs, their abilities, and desires. This reflects the general thrust of the pilot, the corresponding energetic rejection of dogmatism and pragmatic values of ethics, in which education is associated with the functioning of the real world.
I am familiar with the works of John Dewey’s “Democracy and Education” (1916), “Experience and Education” (1936), and “Problems of Man” (1946) which have an enormous impact on the world’s educational thought. His ideas were in tune with the new educational paradigm of education in most countries. The humanization of education involves the development of education in which the core values are people, and the innate potential of the individual, which allows a person to live in a society and to adapt to the social conditions, providing opportunities for professional development and creative personality.
The most comprehensive, in-depth, and consistent understanding of the basic problems of education was given by Dewey in the book, “Democracy and Education”. Progressive education does not doubt the idea of life as a constantly evolving experience of human interaction with the environment. Education is a matter of vital importance; it is the process of learning, training, and development. The man, whose actions are connected with other people, lives in a social environment. His/ her actions depend on the expectations, demands, endorsement, or condemnation of others. Thus, the social environment shapes the social and emotional attitudes of behavior in individuals by engaging them in activities that generate and amplifies certain inducements, have certain goals, and entail certain consequences. Progressive education gives learners not just practical knowledge but teaches how to solve problems. People, who can solve problems reform society and make their country independent, progressive and rich.
Those who support the ideas of progressive education know, that the learner requires interests, and experiences that are central elements in learning. On one hand, interest comes with experience; on the other hand, without experience, there is no interest. Consequently, the role of the teacher in education is great, as only skilled professionals can release the unlimited potential of each student to education. According to the ideas of progressive education, students are to be taught to explore their ideas rather than filling them with forgettable facts or simply preparing for standardized tests. To my mind, this is true since it gives the possibility to think beyond the conventional, assess the situation, and develop own way of thinking
A teacher organizes the work and guides learning through his/ her own educative experiences, which requires preparation and talent. A talented teacher can stimulate, instigate, and evaluate the learning process with different students, as this is his/ her calling. I also think that being a teacher is my calling that is why the philosophy of progressive education is so close to my understanding of the process.
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