A Parent’s Guide to Progressive Education

Progressive schools in the Philippines, and likewise abroad, are still a small but strong community of educational institutions that practice teaching differently from others. They are not as known to the general public, and our goal is to provide information for parents who are interested in learning more.

A quick history:
Progressive education was born in the 1800s, a century where American democracy was just starting to make big progress. One of the concerns of progressivism was the quality of life of children, and many fought for free education and an altogether brighter future for the next generations.

It was during this time that the father of progressive education, John Dewey, first established his Laboratory School in the University of Chicago. He and his colleagues started developing new methods and curriculum that encouraged exploration, investigation and real-world situations. This system was very different from existing institutions where order, obedience and authority were the most important factors.

Some common terms you’ll be encountering:
Integrated Education
This is a way to teach students about breaking down barriers between subjects and making learning more meaningful and holistic. This method focuses on flexibly teaching lessons that can have different disciplines mingling to solve a problem.

Experiential Education
Experiential learning literally means allowing students to learn through hands-on experience, rather than cooped up in a classroom. Instead of just reading about insects, students actually go out and observe nature while processing what they studied about it in class.

Inquiry-based Learning
This technique focuses on having students fuel their curiosity and come up with their own questions, which leads them to formulate their own theories by collecting evidence from research and experience– this helps build early problem-solving skills.