Teaching progressive instruction paradigm envisions the teacher as a facilitator who interacts with learners and promotes cooperation in them to imagine and wonder the world around them (Kennedy, 2019). Consequently, it gives more avenue for the learner to explore things while learning the topic at hand. Teachers in this philosophy are not the “sage on stage” but merely the catalyst of the learning process. Thus, learners will be the
focus of education instead of the teachers. However, educational perennialism clashes with this belief of the progressive education. Perennialism has faith in a subject-centered philosophy where learners are taught base on a structured drills and lessons (Bansal, 2015). Which means, learners will read and study the happenings in the past because it is also part of national test. This is very discriminating in the side of the learner because it can be very difficult for them to learn universal knowledge from numerous significant events in Western civilization. Hence, education is not a mock of what has happened before and will be forgotten in the long run. Instead, it should respond to the needs of the learners and prepare them for future use like in their job. Thus, educational philosophy is not merely developing learners based on their interests but there should a development of totality. This is supported by Boyd (2018) asserting that the most important role of progressivism is teaching the whole child. Which means to say, it is educating learners to be decent people of the society and not just good learners. Thus, progressivism responds to the need of the society since it can produce individuals who can make change.
Furthermore, in this present day we cannot deny the fact that we are facing a very hard problem inside the classroom. That is to catch the attention of the students and to have an interactive and active learning process. According to the article published by Weimer (2014) Nearly all educators are faced every day with the truth that learners’ awareness meanders in class “they can be spotted nodding off, asleep, staring absently at some point other than the front of the room, texting, or doing on something for another class.” This is the reality that sometimes cannot be handled by the teacher. Thus, educators should have the initiative to enhance students’ responsiveness and concentration and to actively engage them in the learning process by utilizing a wide range of instructional methods. Hence, progressivism is a vital factor in conducting and implementing instructions in teaching since it can provide collaborative work and other hands-on activities that would trigger students’ attentiveness in learning.
I have mentioned several reasons and evidences that will explain how progressive philosophy best suits in education. It is beneficial nowadays since it can respond to the needs of the child and society and most importantly to their individual differences. It aims not for isolation but for an active learning process. Thus, it is more important than any other philosophies of education. However, this article is limited only to the situation of these days’ generation and the nature of the 21st century learners. Therefore, it may not be effective in different times. Moreover, even though I have mentioned number of supporting details on why and how progressive approach is the most effective among other philosophies there are still truths to be considered. One caveat is that this philosophy can be overwhelming that the mastery of the lesson will be forsaken. Then, teachers should always be there as their guide in acquiring knowledge. If teachers are the facilitators of learning in this paradigm, then there will be a possibility that learners will be overlooked. Thus, teachers should process things properly with accurateness and appropriateness to avoid wrong acquisition.
In conclusion, there is no best philosophy that can drive teachers to a powerful teaching. A powerful teaching is bound with the capacity of the teachers to adjust to every situation, ideal vision for their students, advocacy for change, and efficiency and effective implementation of the desired instruction. More so, educational philosophies are our principles that serve as our guide to achieve powerful teaching in ruling education. Hence, they can also be used in eclectic manner. They are not the propositions in a debate where we defend its one side to win or to be used to boast oneself although it can grapple our minds and help us reflect on our profession.