Give them the choice?

Filling the pail

One issue at the heart of the education debate is the role of student choice. On one side are those who value it for its own sake. They tend to elevate the role of play in the early years – because children make their own choices when playing – and they argue for student-led projects in later schooling. As John Dewey wrote in 1938:

“There is, I think, no point in the philosophy of progressive education which is sounder than its emphasis upon the importance of the participation of the learner in the formation of the purposes which direct his activities in the learning process, just as there is no defect in traditional education greater than its failure to secure the active co-operation of the pupil in construction of the purposes involved in his studying.”

For Dewey, education had to be based upon experience and therefore:

“Anything which can…

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