Definitions of Progressive and Traditionalist

Scenes From The Battleground

For the last 100 years or so, the two main branches of educational thought have been Traditionalism and Progressivism. Yet, in my view due to the way teacher training has been interested in passing on only the progressive perspective, many teachers are apparently oblivious to this.

Twitter poll, source unknown

I’m sure a lot of the confusion comes down to a belief that the terms refer only to teaching styles and not to philosophies, or through attempts to define them using checklists of ideas, rather than as families of ideologies.

Here was my attempt to define the terms.

We can still identify progressive values. Also, traditionalism is more consistent and we can recognise departures from it. Somebody is heir to the progressives if they endorse any of the key disagreements between traditionalists and progressives, rather than all of them. There are three main areas of dispute.

Content. Traditionalists believe that…

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