Progressivism is the philosophical school of thought that advocates that truth is determined by function. The truth one knows should help in the daily functional activities of the society according to progressivists (Scott, Sarkkes_Wcenski, 2001 p.197). Therefore progressivism as used in the education is an educational philosophy that is based on a learning instruction that is aimed at equipping the learners with knowledge and skills, that are relevant and useful to the leaner in the society, which enables him or her, compete effectively in today’s contemporary society that is ever changing (James, 2002, p.1876)
Progressivism is as a philosophy of education that is designed to give the learners the appropriate problem solving and analysis techniques that would help the learners to be prepared to fit in the real world and not be puzzled after their education (Peter, 1999, p.188). The curriculum design is designed in such a way that is cantered on the learning activities and learning experiences that challenge the student problem soling and analytic abilities in the view to strengthen these skills of an individual (Peter, 1999, p.88) l.
To achieve this curriculum is based on the provision of instruction ranging from the basic real world skills to high level of investigation and analysis. It calls for the society to ensure that children are given the right education. Firstly because is the basic human right and also for society collective development i.e individual as unit of society and the entire community. These also act as the extrinsic motivation that helps to build up and instil level intrinsic motivation for the learners in the learning process.
However progressivism takes into account the fact that knowledge is ever changing and not static, in regard to this issue the basic truth content should also be dynamic as per the unfolding of the society challenges. Since different societies have different range of the problems, therefore it is irrelevant of establishing universal body of knowledge that should be taught in the educational curriculum and yet not useful in solving the problems of the community
(James, 2002, p.1896).
Therefore the school is viewed as the place where the learner is taught useful, applicable and long lasting skills that enables the student not only skills and knowledge that are necessary for survival in the society but also to enable him compete and succeed In the contemporary society effectively. School curriculum must therefore be reflective of the societal problems both existing and potential ones. Through the school, it equips essential skills for the learners to enter into the work force in the society.
In the view that the human beings are social animals and learn best on real life activities with the people, it follows that we must have norms governing the conduct and the operations of the people. These set codes in the work places are instilled right from the school and its god to have morality taught at the school level that will translate to professional ethics. Therefore the school serves the best place for formulating and teaching of the societal codes of conduct.
For effective learning where experience has to cause a change in the student’s behaviour, the teacher is instrumental in the whole realisation processes of learning (Scott, Sarkkes_Wcenski, 2001 p.451). The teacher is expected to guide the students on how to acquire skills and knowledge needed the society workforce.
To achiever these the teacher guides the students on how to acquire a wealthy body of knowledge that is useful in problem solving and think critical in their working situations, this enable them to be creative in handling their daily erupting issues in societal life. For these reason the teacher is expected to ask students questions that examines their mind in the practical manner. and responsible for setting well the classroom learning experiences and activities that can create a problem that exists and guide them on the directions on how to solve the problem.
As the teacher guide the student in learning processes, the learner is expected to cooperate so that he/she can learn how to think critically and creatively, how to solve problems in learning process and finally how to apply the acquired knowledge into real world. In this regard the learners are taught how to go a bout problem of life survival. These is achieved trough the methods that is problem based learning (Scott, Sarkkes_Wcenski, 2001 p.354).
These method is for instance group learning where the learners are expected to discuss and compromise within their groups and the teacher should only be available to monitor, encourage and give directive guidelines to the group so that they can on their bon develop original solutions to existing and potential problem in the society. By use of the discussion group that comprises of similar peers, the student takes an active role in learning that prepares him or her for work as he or she becomes self sufficient so that can fit well in the society.
At the group level the students should be; aware of the problem, define the problem, propose hypothesis to solve it, evaluate the consequences of the hypotheses and come up with the best solution to the problem. The learning environment should be collaborative and democratic to reflect the essence of learner centred. That gives the opportunity for all students to speak out their mind and receive feedback to their ideologies from their peers and teacher. This feedback gives the criteria for evaluating and assessing of the learning outcomes.
In conclusion progressivism philosophy of education emphasises on the skills and knowledge that is aimed at resolving problems in the contemporary society
(Scott, Sarkkes_Wcenski, 2001 p.254). In its attainment at should be learner centred where the learner actively participates in the learning process.
Scott L, Sarkee.M (2001), Overview of career and technical education. Illinois, Technical publishers. Inc
David, F (2004), Trouble with Ed schools, US; Yale university press.
James w. Gathure (2002), encyclopaedia of education. United States. Macmillan.
Peter silock, (1999), new progressivism. New York, Educational int.
Patricia .L, Tillman. J, (1999), Instructional design, Michigan;
John wiles and sons.