“Old Andrew”, well-known education blogger, was invited yesterday by the Local Schools Network on Twitter to define “progressive teaching”. He obliged by defining it in terms of “traditional teaching” as follows:
“Progressive teaching is that which rejects any of the pillars of traditional teaching. These are 1) the existence of a tradition i.e. a body of knowledge necessary for developing the intellect. 2) The use of direct instruction & practice as the most effective methods of teaching. 3) The authority of teachers in the classroom.”
One problem with using complex constructs like ‘traditional’ is that they are, well, complex. We all know roughly what we mean by ‘traditional’ (or ‘British’ or ‘doing the right thing’) but defining those terms precisely is tricky for several reasons:
a) Complex constructs are sets containing several, sometimes many, elements.
b) Different people will have different elements in their construct sets. Ask 100…
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