Presentation on theme: "A100: Week 2 Welcome!. Today: Purposes and Power 1.What are the differences between progressive and more traditional education? Lecture: 4:10 – 4:45 Section:"— Presentation transcript:
Today: Purposes and Power 1.What are the differences between progressive and more traditional education? Lecture: 4:10 – 4:45 Section: 4:50 – 6:05 Lecture: 6:10 – 6:55 2. How does your educational background shape your view of education? 3. How should we understand the purposes of contemporary education? 4. Education: Source of social mobility or mechanism of social control?
What are the key tenets of progressive education? Interests of the student are primary Constructivist in its orientation Experiential knowledge is important Depth is more important than breadth What are the underlying assumptions? Rousseau: “Man is born free and is everywhere in chains” – child is good, society corrupts Motivation is critically important Fundamentally developmental
What are the key tenets of more traditional education? The material is primary – represents fundamental human learning Knowledge is more important than “how to think” Experiential knowledge less important Breadth is as important as depth What are the underlying assumptions? Education is society’s way of inducting children into fraternity of the educated Children should respect the knowledge and experience of their elders
Key examples of debates between the two approaches Phonics vs. whole learning Back to basics vs. higher order skills Learning content vs. learning how to think Constructivist classrooms vs. direct instruction
Dewey trying to argue for the middle way Teacher as guide, connecting students’ interests to the material Teacher responsible for thinking about developmental sequence Experiential education in service of broader concepts (not as end in itself) Connecting two knowledge trees
Where Do We See Legacies of Rousseau and Dewey today? Key characteristics of progressive education Students working in groups on activities Physical space – circles rather than rows Student talk as much or more as teacher talk Experiential learning Constructivist
Where Do We See Legacies of Rousseau and Dewey today? Full-on Examples Montessori schools The idea of kindergarten in its original form Project-based learning and Expeditionary Learning Schools Some progressive private schools
Where Do We See Legacies of Rousseau and Dewey today? Partial Examples Some use of constructivist pedagogy in regular public schools Some use of activity-based learning, particularly in lower grades
Which serves equity better? Argument for traditional All children should have access to the centrally important knowledge of society Standards allow us to ensure this through measurement Arguments for progressive Middle class kids are generally taught to think; we should do the same for poor kids
What Forces Support the Use of Progressive, Student-Centered Pedagogy? Teacher training institutions (including this one!) Survey of 900 ed school profs: 86% believe more important to figure out right answer than to know the right answer 78% less emphasis on multiple choice exams Broader middle class norms around child-raising “Every child is different and special” social philosophies Push for “21 st century skills” and greater conceptual thinking Some research
What Forces Support Teacher-Centered Traditional Pedagogy Standardized testing Commensuration of schooling, more generally Desire for external quantification of process Desire for breadth over depth from external constituencies General social conservatism Some research
The Result: Classrooms today Teacher-centered progressivism (Cuban 2009) More emphasis on testing Curricular narrowing More drill and kill Particularly in urban schools But also – more use of groups, activities, and circles than in previous decades (Older studies consistently found teacher-dominated classrooms up until recent decades).
The Result: Classrooms today Two explanations of hybrid “teacher-centered progressivism” (Cuban 2009) 1. Functional Teacher-centered – desire for batch processing Student-centered – desire to keep students interested 2. Historical/cultural Spreading norms of pedagogical progressivism underneath Overlaid on top, increased desire for test-based accountability
Questions for Section 1. How were you educated? How do you want your child to be educated? Where do you fall on the progressive-traditional spectrum? 2. How should we understand the purposes of education today?
New Topic: Education: Social reproduction or social mobility?
Education as a Source of Social Reproduction 5 Arguments: Education assimilates outsiders Meritocracy protects illusions of fair competition Correspondence theory – People prepared for their station in life Culture of power Geography of advantage – Protects middle class
Questions for Small Groups Task for small groups: 1. Are there other major ways that education protects social advantage? 2. Do you find these revisionists critiques of schooling persuasive? Why? Why not?
Education as a Source of Social Mobility 5 Arguments (in part critiquing the previous literature): Education most potentially powerful public institution Teachers are not capitalist agents Assimilation is the means to upward mobility Movements for equity promoted by civil rights groups, other actors who care Educational reformers seeking to create greater equity within an admittedly unequal system
Questions for Small Groups Task for small groups: 1. Are there other major ways that education promotes social mobility? 2. How convincing do you find these rebuttals? Which side has the more convincing argument and why?
Discussion Question for Larger Groups Join your pair or trio to another pair or trio: How much faith should we place in education as a mechanism for remedying inequality and promoting social mobility?
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