Who Let The Progs Out? #BlogADayMay May 1st

Who Let The Progs Out?
During May I intend to write a short Blog each day (#BlogADayMay) about Education issues. I’m going to try to link their titles to Books, just for a bit of fun.

Today’s article is about a hot topic. The Progressive/Constructivist vs Traditional Teacher debate has been raging (again) for the past few years, with both sides using the medium of Twitter to air their grievances.

I don’t claim to know enough about the debate to present my view. When researching the debate, it seems to have been rumbling on for decades without any resolution either way. As I said, without spending time researching the debate, I cannot comment on either side. However, as a bystander, there a number of issues I have with the debate itself.

Firstly, if you surveyed teachers across the country and asked their views on Trad vs Prog they would probably look confused. Before I accessed Twitter I had never even encountered this argument. It doesn’t strike me as an important discussion to have when we have so many other issues which directly affect teachers across the country. Wasting effort on this ‘debate’ when there is vast underfunding of schools, the Government’s infatuation with Grammar and Free Schools, massive issues with retention and recruitment and problems with Assessment processes, seems silly.

Secondly, the way the debate is carried out is, at best, childish. In the Twittersphere is seems like there are gangs of Educators on both sides who enjoy baiting representatives of the opposing views. Prominent advocates of both viewpoints have collected followers who are more than willing to stand at the back of the crowd, pointing fingers and shouting insults. The whole thing is incredibly unprofessional and, frankly, embarrassing. I’m not one for holding back when my beliefs are challenged, but I try (and nearly always succeed) in remaining professional.

Finally if the debate has raged for years on these issues, and most teachers seemingly use a mix of both techniques, why have the debate at all? Teaching is individual, contextual and personality-driven. Teachers should be given the autonomy to teach how they want to teach.


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