In an article called, ‘Is 2016 The Year That Progressive Education Returns’, Robert Sun discusses the past and current education trends and predicts that 2016 will be the for Passion-Based-Learning. I am sure we hope it is!

Progressive Education was a movement responding to a rigid education system based on 19-century principles. It sought to break away from a curriculum based subject approach and teaching themes cutting across subjects, motivating students by harnessing their enthusiasm and basing content on real life experiences.

Not so different to what many have been talking about for the 21 century?

After initial success, it fell victim to post-war conservatism and the fear of the ‘cold war’ propaganda, which was a shame. It has remerged today under a different guise but driven by a similar motive to find something to suit a changing society where the demands of the labour market are not being met by current education systems and pedagogy.

The drivers now are

  • learners styles and behaviours have changed and are no longer compatible with teaching styles
  • society and the job market are changing faster than ever before, and employees have to embrace constant and life-long learning to keep up
  • the demands are for skills, not a fact based approach

But today with faster communication on The Internet the speed of change to drive these movements is faster, and access to alternative means of educating, like home-based learning make opting out more viable. The trend of rejecting traditional education is growing fast.

Robert says,

‘One need only look at the state of education in the U.S. today to realize people are looking for answers. The pushback over high-stakes testing isn’t abating; in New York state alone, 20% of all public school students—more than 200,000 in all—have opted out of such tests. In Pennsylvania, the opt-out movement has grown by more than 300%.’

Some countries have already moved in this direction, and there are exploratory progressive programmes in Scandanavia and Holland which have been very successful.

But it’s not just formal education that needs to change in response to the above drivers, it is also a recruitment processes.

Measuring academic success as a predictor of job success is not working, and human resource managers are looking for new ways to measure the holistic skills and traits of candidates in addition to looking at their academic records.

There are currently many barriers to change.

  • teachers skills and attitudes
  • centralised control and funding of education
  • over testing and rigid system
  • lack of e learning integration

Perhaps the biggest problem, however, is that there is no cross-discipline, cross organisation, international perspective to give us a helicopter view of education, recruitment and the economic perspectives?

Finally, it will be the customers, the parents and students who will drive change, not governments or economists. It is already happening and whether its’ Passion-Based-Learning’ or something else it is happening now.

To see the full article click on this link .






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