This paper gives an overview of principal distinction between the aims of the so-called "traditional" and "progressive" education and respective pedagogies associated with each. The term "traditional" education is used to denote the kind of education that prepares people for their role in society as it is, while the term "progressive" is used for education that aspires to equip mankind with capacity to shape the change of society. The paper raises some critical questions about the role of pedagogy in achieving the aims of the progressive model, argueing that the employment of "progressive" methods does not necessarily guarantee the achievement of the commonly professed purposes of progressive education. This is illustrated in the paper by the results of a study in English schools showing how despite the claim of progressive methods, teachers tend to retain traditional attitudes and on the other hand, how even traditional teaching methods can serve the progressive purpose. This is not to advocate for the traditional pedagogy, but to suggest that it might be something other than pedagogy that makes a critical difference in educating liberal-minded citizens of the future. In this sense the paper explores the role of other factors that make a difference towards progressive education, such as democratisation of human relations in school ethos and respect for children's freedom.
- Democtatisation of schools
- Educational aims
- School ethos
- Traditional and progressive education