Some why I find this choice to

Some people may wonder, what is the purpose of education? The truth is, education does not have ‘one’ single purpose, it has many. Education is a powerful tool that can be used to inspire, revolutionize, and transform a society. That is how much power it has. In today’s society, it seems as if the purpose of education is for teachers’ to prepare individuals for the ‘real word’, to help create lifelong learners, and to produce more compassionate and understanding individuals. However, while those attributes are important, we must also acknowledge the importance of supporting children in developing the skills, knowledge, and the frame of mind that will allow them to become informed, responsible, and contributing active members of their communities. Thus, the educational philosophy I find to be best for the American education population is the Liberal Progressive model. Through my experience in various elementary school settings, I find this model being adopted more and more frequently. I happen to like the way this model is applied at the elementary level and in conversations with former cooperating teachers, have found it to be successful in educating students. In this paper, I will delve deeper regarding the role the teacher, the learner and the environment play in the liberal progressive model and why I find this choice to be best in educating the American population. ¬† Progressive education counters conformity and standardization in its approach to educating today’s youth. One reason why progressive education does not have a single fixed definition is due to the importance educators place on key features/characteristics of this philosophy, which may not be shared by all educators. Disagreements on which features are most important in a liberal progressive model varies from teacher to teacher: some progressive educators may choose to primarily focus on meeting the unique needs of their students, others may focus on developing a community of learners, some may place greater emphasis on learning as a process (its the process not the product that matters), while other educators may indicate that tasks should bring about authentic products that can be shared. ¬† The progressive teacher is not just putting knowledge into the students head but rather facilitating their ability to learn. Moreover, the teacher provides the student with meaningful context, the teacher is concerned not just with the learner getting the knowledge but also making it meaningful, the same of which cannot be said in the classical traditional model. Additionally, the progressive educator is viewed as the cultivator of individuality, they are the motivator. Whereas motivation, according to Adler, should come solely from the learner’s home life and their environment in the classical model, motivation should be encouraged from the teacher in this approach. According to Dewey, the teacher should model democratic behavior and build upon the learner’s experience. Dewey (1916) says, “The increment of meaning corresponds to the increased perception of the connections and continuities of the activities in which we are engaged” (p. 40). He is trying to point out that an activity which brings along education or instruction increases the student’s understanding and makes them aware of connections that may have been previously gone unnoticed. This can be achieved through free activity provided by the teacher. The belief is that learners can come to self-discipline, the more it is allowed and encouraged, the more you are teaching. Here, the teacher takes on more of an observer role and lets the students engage in free activities. William H. Kilpatrick (1918) states that students will continue to make better distinctions of what is right and proper, with the teacher’s success consisting “in gradually eliminating himself or herself from the success of the procedure” (p. 50). The liberal progressive approach to education concentrates on interactions between students, in groups, how each student behaves individually, mostly, they are concerns of individual growth. Lastly, the teacher is perceived as a guide who fosters student thinking and works to simply steer the learning process. A second component of the liberal progressive model of education that we take a look at is the role of the learner. The learner is identified as an individual who comes to the classroom with knowledge, both through experience and subject matter. In this model, students already have all kinds of knowledge before they even get to the classroom, and the teacher simply builds on it. However, this is not the case with the classical model, where children only learn once they come through the (classroom) door. Also, the learner is seen as an individual, not a common knowledge of student, therefore the teacher is responsible for the students’ individual growth. This approach views the student as naturally active learners who have an intrinsic desire to learn as they are seen as naturally social beings. The student is regarded as a developmental learner. This model brings into play the notion of the social and psychological aspects, looking at what is natural to the learner. As mentioned earlier, the learner is seen as a self-disciplined individual who has different talents for learning (native capacities). The progressive teacher will say the learner is born with a built-in desire to learn but the classical traditional teacher will say the student doesn’t want to learn. Progressives reject this idea of students as passive learners in lieu of urging students to follow their interests and solving problems in a way that makes sense to them. The liberal progressive approach to education takes into account the learner’s readiness, meaning that children as individuals come to different subjects and understandings at different times. It is simply a function of the individual, not of their ability to learn. Some children come to the notion of being a reader at 4, 5 or 6 years old and that is not to say that they are more or less intelligent but instead that they come to it when they are psychologically ready to learn. What I like most about this model is that the progressive¬†

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