Educational Trends

Reflective Activity 3:

  • Which of ‘progressive’ trends align with CfE?

Firstly, in the 1960’s the traditional way of teaching was very different to what it is now. It was much more teacher-centred with only right and wrong answers, with not much room for exploring knowledge. It mainly focused on facts the children had to memorise and undergoing tests to see how well they could remember these facts. Children’s IQ’s would be compared to the average child and looking at constructive criticism, showing the children what progress they already had made to keep the motivated, was not something that was done. Finally, every child was given the same material in the same format, whereas now teaching is suited to each individual child’s needs.

Many times, I have heard that the world is expanding in knowledge, which is very true. But, it is expanding so rapidly that it is impossible to give children all the knowledge they need in the 21st century. Now, the focus is on giving children a toolkit which will enable them to be lifelong learners. This includes critical thinking, analysing information. Learning is now much broader, with a lot more culture involved in the learning, more perspectives to give pupils a clear idea of all the possibilities.   When reading this (specify) document and looking at the Education Trends (by the 1960’s) the history of the IB shows the transition from traditional to progressive trends, these align with CfE impressively and many of the progressive trends I have seen in my own teaching experience. Traditionally children were taught to memorise information, such as the times tables. But now in the progressive trend, critical analysis is used. Now children are taught how knowledge interlinks and shown different methods in understanding so that this is engraved deep in their minds, not just memorised for testing purposes.

This leads me smoothly onto the progressive trend in the IB of multiple perspectives, I understand this to be showing children different methods of learning so that they choose the method which works for them, but I also understand it as enabling the children to develop their own informed opinions about the world around them. All which is also a trend in CfE. Student choice, child-centred and constructivism are also very important progressive trends part of the IB. These I greatly saw on my placement and used in practice. Whatever the lesson and task, the children needed to be given constructive criticism and feedback, to allow them to take responsibility for their own learning. Thus, enabling the children to know how they are progressing and allowing them to make informed decisions about their own learning.

Education of the whole child is, I believe, related to the responsibility of all teachers. In the traditional trend academic intelligence was the focus, whereas now health and well being, mathematics and literacy are all the responsibility of each teacher in CfE. I believe this is another alignment between the IB and CfE as academic intelligence is not the only thing children now gain at schools, but also learning about themselves, their personalities, what their likes and dislikes are and how to live a long and healthy life beyond the school life. Overall, I believe that the progressive trends align prominently and have many similarities, they are both very pupil-centred and focus on giving each individual child the tools they need to live a happy and successful life.

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