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Alice's Reading Notes 2/9

alesnick's picture


What makes progressive methods align better with democratic principles and ideals?

Ch 4 Social Control

p, 55: In the traditional classroom, the teacher kept order "because order was in the teacher's keeping, instead of residing in the shared work being done."

Have you experience school this way? As a context where authority is shared via participation in activity (as in a game) rather than imposed by an authority figure?  What kind of organization and plannig is needed to achieve this shared social control?

Depends on an understanding that education is a social process.

Ch 5 Freedom

passivity and silence as hallmarks of schooling are problematic from the standpoint of progressive ed.  

p. 64 "The ideal aim of education is the creation of power of self-control."

Does this do justice to Dewey's earlier definition of freedom as power to frame purposes, judge wisely, and evaulate desires?

ch 6 The Meaning of Purpose


 Grobstein & Lesnick

"Education is Life Itself:" Biological Evolution as a Model for Human Learning"

What do you think about the distinction between teaching content and teaching inquiry skills?  What is their interaction?

Grobstein and Lesnick discuss conscious, reflective learning as a supplement to informal, unconscious learning. Do you agree?  

Does the discussion here of teaching bodies of knowledge so as to give learners access to material that they wouldn't otherwise come across in informal, evolutionary learning shed light on Dewey's arguments about organizing curricula in progressive education?