The purpose of a historical era affects its ideas and worldviews. Throughout history philosophical ideas are identified by its influences on education, society, government, law, and religion, economics, and family. From historical ideas, a philosophers’ worldviews are developed and wanted to answer the basic questions of life according to Christ. Motivations of the Medieval and Progressive Eras influenced educational philosophers and worldviews. The purpose of this paper is to compare the Medieval and Progressive Era’s impact on instructional trends, plans, and concepts and analyze their worldviews.
The Medieval Era occurred from the 5th through 15th century. The center of this era is characterized by traditional Christian teachings and an understanding of the being and accessibility of God. During this era, thinkers wanted to understand the relationship between faith and reason. Another interest of Medieval ideas was the existence of God, therefore, educational theories were obtained from theology.
John Calvin is an example of a Medieval theorist whose ideas were illustrated his strong belief in an all-knowing God. Being a reformer, Calvin sought to restructure the church, knowledge, authority, and economics. He felt that there was a strong connection between education, crime, economic wealth, and religious beliefs; therefore, he stressed for believers to be literate, Bible readers, and to live by laws (Gutek, 2011). Calvinism views affected public schools because the goal of it was to prepare a literate, law abiding, Bible reading, and economically productive citizenry (Gutted, 2011). Values and skills would be taught to scholars that would ultimately make the community a better place to live, work, and play. Another example of a Medieval thinking is Pansophism. Pansophism was developed by Johann Amos Comenius. He too trusted that God was all-knowing, and the plan of universal understanding was to lead students to God. Not only was God all-knowing through Holy Scriptures, but he was all-knowing in sciences. Comenius viewed understanding path to the kingdom of God. Both thinkers’ ideas illustrated the attributes of the Medieval Era, because they integrated the existence of God into all aspects of life. They trusted that knowledge of and a belief in an all-knowing God would better life.
Another historical era with well-known philosophies is the Progressive Era. The Progressive Era is characterized by economic improvements, order, social warfare, and the encouragement of ideas about death. During this era, America was growing and urban areas were developing. Both immigrants migrating from Europe and African Americans migrating from the South came to urban areas in the North. Consequently, the agricultural jobs decreased, and industrial jobs in the city grew. The Progressive Era was about change and being better.
Jane Addams, a Progressive Era philosopher, developed the thinking of Socialized education sought to re-establish the connection of community, because of the dramatic change from rural to urban. Addams’s Settlement House involved several aspects to connect social-emotional and academics. The school connected different ages, cultures, and social-emotional. Data from the Settlement House was used to change and better laws, health-care, working environments, academics and living conditions (Gutted, 2011). Jane Addams’s beliefs illustrated the Progressive Era because her views and contributions improved society and human existence. Maria Montessori, an advocate of early childhood education, was also an influential Progressive thinker. She desired to change early childhood education. Montessori believed the young child should not only be taught academics, but also physically and social-emotionally. She wanted to teach the whole child by combining her insights and study of medicine, the study of humans, and instruction. Montessori’s philosophy and method involved the young child learning by interacting with the learning environment through hands-on experiences. Montessori’s overall career was spent creating tis type learning environment by observing the proper setting for the arrival of normal children (Frierson, 2015). She believed that a developmentally appropriate early childhood education allowed children to explore, experiment, and discover in their environment. Montessori also believed that young developed and grew at their own pace and enjoyed activities that made them independent. The Montessori school reinvented the school by allowing children to develop independently and freely by offering hands experiences that enhanced sensory learning, practical skills, and cognitive processes (Gutted, 2011). She also formulated a new role for teachers by having them act as facilitators. In the Montessori school teachers were not the center of the classroom but rather the child was in control his/her own learning. Montessori’s method believed children’s education should expand and meet their own stages of development. His contribution to early childhood education in theories and practice was noteworthy.
Comparison of Educational Philosophies
During the Medieval and Progressive Eras, the purpose of education differed. Calvinism and Pansophism viewed God as all-knowing which impacted beliefs regarding education. The goal of education during the Medieval period was to lead children to God; therefore, Bible reading was included in the curriculum. On the other hand, during the Progressive Era the purpose was to improve education. For example, Socialized education wanted to improve education for immigrants and Americans which in turn would improve society. Montessori’s philosophy and method’s sought to improve learning for young children. She reformed early childhood education and how society viewed the growth of the young child. The philosophies about education were different because of the result that it was trying to achieve.
Biblical Worldview Analysis
The worldview of the Medieval Era was based on the idea that God was an all-knowing and powerful. The Medieval Era philosophers incorporated God in education, which they felt would lead citizens to the kingdom of God. According to Capps, a Christian worldview is based on religious and philosophical beliefs (Capps, 2013). The Medieval Era viewed God as the center and citizens should encompass literacy to better society. A Christian worldview should also shape law, religion, economics, government, and family. The Medieval illustrates a Christian worldview, because the philosophies explained and guided citizens on how to incorporate God into all areas of their lives.
A Christian worldview also seeks to impact humanity in a positive way (Capps, 2013). Ideas and views during the Progressive Era impacted humanity. Socialized education sought to help immigrants connect to the community. By creating the Settlement House, Addams contributed to the improvement of human existence. Montessori’s philosophy and method improved early childhood education. Young children were taught holistically, and learning environments filled with hands-on activities that allowed children to explore, experiment, and discover. Both of these eras illustrated a Christian worldview.
The purpose of this paper was to compare the Medieval and Progressive Eras’ impact on educational trends, ideas, and principles and analyze their worldviews. The Medieval Era sought to bring Christianity to the center of people’s lives after the previous trouble and pain that they had experienced during the Roman times. The Progressive Era wanted to help humanity be better in the area of education. In conclusion, both sought to make humanity better; however, the Progressive Era’s illustrated a worldview that helped humans make sense of God. Today some ideas from the Progressive Era are prevalent. High schools and colleges have now begun to work together which illustrates Socialized education. High school students are invited to take college courses which counts towards their college degree. Instead of programs being isolated, they are now working together. Also, there are programs to help immigrants who enter school so that they can get the help and services they need to be successful in school. Many classrooms have adopted some form of Montessori’s methods of teaching. Children all over America learn through active participation, and teachers act as facilitators by guiding what students learn. Learning is individualized and tailored to students’ needs. The Progressive Era has had more of an impact on our current educational philosophies and ideas.