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Dallas Texas Independent Schools 2017: All About Progressive Elementary Schools Progressive education started back in nineteenth century due to a pedagogical movement that is distinguished from the traditional Euro-American curriculum which was considered a classical preparation for university, as well as differentiated by social status. Progressive education stems out from observation and experience, which is believed as a basis of truth and knowledge, instead of manipulation of given ideas and memorization of facts in traditional education. The methods of teaching in traditional education are illustration-based or picture based and abstract or symbolic, and separated from concrete experience. Progressive education’s learning experiences starts with immediate, significant and concrete experiences before moving and introducing pictorial or abstract methods. Traditional education uses demonstrations or lectures given by the teacher, and answering workbooks, while progressive education utilizes various educational materials, allowing the student to manipulate toys, tools and other items to actually experience what is being taught. Progressive education has several qualities that distinguishes it from traditional education, such as emphasis is on learning by doing, focused and integrated curriculum with thematic units, emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving, social skills development, learning goals are more of action and understanding rather than rote knowledge, cooperative and collaborative learning projects, democracy and social responsibility, personalized learning, community service learning projects, emphasis on lifelong learning and experiences, and assessment by evaluating child’s productions and projects. To further differentiate the differences of the two, traditional setting emphasize that school is a preparation of life, where learners are regarded as passive, and teachers are direct sources of authority and information, while progressive education perceive school as a part of life, where learners are active participants, planners and problem solvers, and teachers are facilitator who guide to foster learning. In progressive setting, parents are considered the primary teachers, planners and goal setters, serving as resources to their child, whereas in traditional setting, parents are not involved and are considered as outsiders. The community is an extension of the classroom in progressive education, whereas traditional education consider the community as separate from school.
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Learning program in a progressive setting is highly determined by the mission, goals and philosophy of graduates, and knowledge is constructed by playing, social interaction and direct experience. Children make connections and integrate with different disciplines, and skills are related to its content and are perceived as tools. In progressive education, school is a fun and very challenging place, where intelligence is recognized in different aspects of life not only mathematics and sciences, but also including arts, sports, social skills and other real-life problem solving areas. Assessment is progress oriented rather than graded in progressive setting, and it comes with various forms, along with success as determined by collaboration and application of learning over time.The Art of Mastering Schools