Progressivism in Education – Advantages and Disadvantages – Proponents – Curriculum

Progressivism in education was organized so that children would be taught via curriculum that was hands on. This idea encouraged children to freely express themselves and be creative.


Many advocate advantages of a progressivism curriculum; while meany will dispute with weaknesses.


John Dewey was a strong proponent of Progressivism in education. He did not like the curriculum that was “subject centered”. He felt that was rigid and old. Child-centered curriculum was his favorite. He believed that children learn by experimenting instead of by memorization. Progressivism – is the belief that education should prepare children to live in society, socially and academically.


I believe children and adults learn best through experience rather than testing and memorization. Anyone can cram for a test and pass that test.  However most of the time they really do not retain the content unless they actually can apply it to real life through experience.

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Three major contributions of Progressivism in education are:

  1. Democracy is education. Schools teach what society is, and prepare children for life in a democratic society.
  2. Second the child is the curriculum which means that curriculum is based on children and what they need to know to prepare them for their future.
  3. Third it also brought vision that schools were beautiful places where children could learn and grow instead of the prison environment where kids hate to be which is what many schools in society are like today.


One of the biggest strengths of Progressivism in education is that children are more interested in learning, if school is interesting, children learn more. If it is mundane and boring even the most intelligent child will tune it out.
Possibly one of the limitations to Progressivism is some people believe that it does not prepare children to become scientists and mathematicians. I personally believe if someone wants to be in that career he or she will seek the needed education for that field when the time comes.

Children need a learning environment that is interesting, safe and enjoyable. The place they go to learn needs to be a place where they desire to go. Progressivism provides children with hands on learning environment where they can express themselves and learn about the world around them.

Use technology in your Lesson Plans and keep kids interacting!

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