Progressive education, or educational progressivism, is a pedagogical movement that began in the late 19th century and has persisted in various forms to the present. In Europe, progressive education took the form of the New Education Movement. The term progressive was engaged to distinguish this education from the traditional curricula of the 19th century, which was rooted in classical preparation for the early-industrial university and strongly differentiated by social class. By contrast, progressive education finds its roots in modern, post-industrial experience. Most progressive education programs have these qualities in common:
Emphasis on learning by doing – hands-on projects, expeditionary learning, experiential learning
Integrated curriculum focused on thematic units
Strong emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking
Group work and development of social skills
Understanding and action as the goals of learning as opposed to rote knowledge
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