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The New or Progressive Methods of Teaching

The new or progressive methods of teaching are based on the Philosophy of John Dewey that education is life, growth, reconstruction of human experiences, and a social process.

The main goal of the new methods is personality development through proper stimulation, direction, and guidance. Guidance and counseling of the students go hand in hand with the regular methods and techniques of teaching.

The new methods place more emphasis on thinking and less upon memorizing, more on understanding and less on merely accumulating facts, and more through genuine interest and less learning through coercion.

Classroom activities are governed by the democratic principles and ideals, group planning and selected activities, freedom from rigid regulations and control of authority, and friendly attitude between teacher and pupils. The new methods are child-centered because they aim principally for the total growth and development of the child.

There are elements in the new methods of teaching which must be utilized if we are to attempt to teach the coming generation effectively. One must know the psychological concepts, principles and techniques underlying the practices of the modern progressive methods of teaching,

Under the new or progressive methods of teaching, the teacher must know the conditions prevailing at a given time. The most appropriate conditions for progressive or new methods are the following:

  1. Availability of funds
  2. Small classes
  3. Bright pupils
  4. Variety of equipment
  5. Command of the language
  6. Freedom to adjust curriculum to local conditions or needs
  7. Good teachers who have mastered progressive methods and techniques
  8. Understanding of principles and ideals of democracy.

It can not be denied that language handicap, lack of needed equipment, textbooks and teaching aids, poor educational background, and poorly trained teachers are roadblocks to the effective use of the progressive method.

A good teaching procedure will inevitably fail if its application is misunderstood or misapplied. Democratic principles and practices, if fully understood by a classroom teacher, are applicable to both traditional and progressive method of teaching.

So, the ideal good teaching is to develop initiative, independence in thought and method of procedure, self-reliance and confidence among the students/pupils so that eventually they will be able to attack their problems independently and work out solutions.


J.N. Wrighstone. “Achievement in Conventional and Progressive School.” Progressive Education, Vol. 13, pp. 389-395.

Dewey, J. (1938/1997). Experience and education. Macmillan.

Photo Courtesy: Roselyn Lanuzo / DAZSMA Antipolo City

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