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This month’s essay winner is Ann Evans. Here is an excerpt from her essay on progressive education she submitted for the Introduction to Classical Education course on Level 1. Ann will receive a digital Amazon gift card!

Progressive education has very different characteristics than classical education. Those main differences are that it is child-centered, utilitarian, and experimental. There is an emphasis on hands-on-learning, problem solving, and critical thinking. Progressive education is essentially a view of education that strongly stresses the need to learn things by doing. In opposition, Classical education values truth, goodness, and beauty. In the Classical thinking, a human being is soul to be cultivated rather than a human being trained in various tasks. In this paper I will try to illustrate the vast differences between these two ways of teaching.

Progressive education is very much child-centered in that the focus is on the child’s wants and wishes. Progressive education is both amusing and entertaining. This way of teaching captures and keeps children’s attention. The use of smartphones and social media creep into the classroom. Element of the youth culture and modern-day ideas become part of a teacher’s lesson plans illustrating that the “newest” is always better. There are many subjects to be taught and studied and quantifiable tests that are given often computerized tests that are read by machines. Essays are not written. Thoughts and ideas are not expressed. When there is an emphasis on test preparation, some students lose their love for learning for that subject. Along with that, the anxiety level for many students will rise. Especially for children who don’t take tests well or focus so much on taking the test and getting “good” results. It is by this way of teaching that the love of learning is lost…

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