Traditional or Passive Education by John Dewey

Essay by nickcat33College, UndergraduateA, November 2007

download word file, 2 pages 2.5

Downloaded 56 times

A Canadian politician, Harold Taylor, once said "Most of the important experiences that truly educate cannot be arranged a head of time with any precision." This quote imitates the lessons explained by John Dewey in his 1938 book Experience and Education; moreover, he refers to how ineffective traditional education can be opposed to progressive education which is based off personal experience and understanding of useful interactions.

Traditional education is based off the idea that a teacher lectures students about subjects that do not have any bearing towards them or understanding of the subject. Information is almost being fed to the developing minds and this information is being taught by an individual who is teaching off their own experiences as well as the written criteria. "Books, especially textbooks, are the chief representatives of the lore and wisdom of the past, while teachers are the organs through which pupils are brought into effective connection with the material.

Teachers are the agents through which knowledge and skills are communicated and rules of conduct enforced." (18) This quote reflects that the information in a text book can only do so much and teachers are the ones who are supposed to fill in the gaps and explain why things happen the way they did. Traditional education is seen as one sided and John Dewey did not agree with this being the best method of learning for developing minds. An example would be a teacher explaining how important it is to recycle and use less paper products to save trees, but students have no idea how many trees are being torn down or what they are doing by recycling. Recycling means nothing to the students because they have no experience with recycling. This method of teaching can be inaccurate due to the quality of the...