Progressivism’s educational philosophy is closely patterned to Pragmatism. Since Progressivism focuses on the whole child and is catered to the student’s needs and interests, this is I think the best (and easiest) method to induce student motivation.
There are LOTS of ways to capture the student’s attention in a Progressive method. Subjects, topics and teachings are student-centered and connected to everyday life so students closely RELATE to the activities and lessons given. Lifted from my previous Pragmatism blog entry:
“It is said that students are more motivated when they believe that what they learn at school is useful and pertinent to them (present and future) or in the world they live in. To better accentuate the importance of this to the students, teachers can make the students realize that certain skills can help them in dealing with various things related to the whole aspect of their lives. Such skills to be highlighted are their social, thinking, decision making and problem solving skills.”
In a Progressive school, to create effective student motivation strategies, teachers can develop projects, field trips, problem solving, critical thinking and creative expression to capture the learner’s interest and shape the student’s readiness to face real life situations.
For example, instead of just merely giving the students loads of information, it’s better to INVOLVE them in the lesson. Make them EXPERIENCE it. Let them know the FEELING OF BEING THERE. Require them to SOLVE problems and tasks individually or collaboratively.
Prepare the students for CAREER SUCCESS AND make them realize that these are vital things that they need to have. Should the student realize the importance of these to his own life, it will be of great interest to him and teachers will be guaranteed that the students will really take it seriously.
Train the learners and hone their skills in writing, speaking, problem solving, time management, honesty, attention to detail, keeping their cool under pressure, initiative, teamwork skills and love of learning.
After college, while I was starting to build my own career and life disposition, I came to realize that there are LOTS of things I SHOULD HAVE learned and prepared for while I was in school. Things that would greatly equip me to be at par with the busy and fast track of career life. When I pursued my career as a Stock Trader, I was minimally prepared at first. Finance, investments, the stock market, mutual funds, bonds… They were all new to me. They were never presented to us well in school. I crawled my way to getting my license and I had to seriously study and equip myself more. Good thing, I’ve had great mentors (thanks sr.aya :D) and Economics was my favourite subject so dealing with the market became quite easy and enjoyable for me. But then I realized, us brokers who are in the field are I think, only a very small percentage out of the whole population who knows how the investment market works. It’s sad to realize that because the market is a HUGE OPPORTUNITY to open doors for financial comfort. When I talk to some people, some clearly don’t know and don’t understand the investment market. On the other hand, some knows it, but doesn’t want to be involved in it and there’s not much I can do except to understand that some are failing to see a wonderful investment opportunity right in their faces. And they just shun it out.
Now, what am I trying to say here?
Isn’t it that education is claiming that their goal is to prepare the students for the real world? Then, I think to effectively help the students, schools must look at the whole dimension of living and human needs. It’s good that schools already hone the student’s basics to prepare them for the future (reading, writing, speaking, problem solving, etc.) but I think some schools NEGLECT or OVERLOOK some of the most important things students must come across with which is — FINANCIAL LITERACY. Should the schools properly introduce the different ways on how to handle money, finances and businesses, young professionals, adults, citizens or the whole world in general might have a different positive upturn.
Progressivism focuses on the whole child and this includes the learner’s moral development. In addition, let us not forget our mission to produce GOOD PEOPLE. The children today will be the citizens of tomorrow. Some of them will be teachers, some will be workers, some will be lawmakers, some will be defenders of the oppressed, etc. Schools must always remember that good education must produce GOOD PEOPLE. All of the things that will be learned in school will be brought by the child in his/ her growth and will largely contribute to his/ her development of intellect and character. That’s why schools must always uphold the right norm and way of teaching, mentoring and guiding because the formative years of the child is the most crucial stage in the child’s life. If we want good citizens in the future, we must first have good school foundations. Again, internalization of the importance of these concepts makes the student show vigour and interest.
If we really care about our students’ future, then isn’t it just proper to help and educate the young to the NECESSARYthings that they will be facing and needing in the future? Us teachers have already been there, we know it already, we experienced it already. It’s now time to give back what we personally learned, maybe through our own mistakes or in school or through the various people we encounter, etc. But then, we should serve as a guide to the students to aid them in their quest for happiness and in defining and shaping their own future and lives. That is when we will only be assured that we have done our mission; that we have done the right thing.