Northeastern Illinois University requires pre-service teachers to take EDFN 313: Problems, Issues and Practices in Education, to receive a middle school endorsement. The course was offered in the summer of 2016 over a six-week period. The main objective of the course was to discuss the issues in education related to the middle school curriculum philosophy while introducing ideals of progressive education. This is a daunting task in a short period of time. This is especially true when most students have not been exposed to the historical, philosophical, and sociopolitical aspects of middle level education in the context of progressive education. I was somewhat surprised by some of my peers rejection of and disinterest in the progressive curriculum we were exposed to throughout the course. There was an overarching fear that developed an argument against progressive education. This fear is one that current practicing teachers continually voice. It is the fear of not meeting the rigorous state-mandated standards and not preparing students to do well on numerous standardized tests. As pre-service teachers this is our time to explore and innovate, not to allow outside forces to dim our light and spirit for transformative education. For this reason, I am writing a letter to my fellow peers. The letter is divided into two sections. The first is making the case for implementing progressive middle school curriculum. The second describes a method of implementing the ideals of progressive education through a Social Action Curriculum Project (SACP). This letter is meant to encourage a new generation of educators to invert the curriculum we once knew and develop meaningful educational experiences for our future students.
Barone, Melissa C.
"A Letter to Future Educators: Making the Case for Progressive Education,"
SPACE: Student Perspectives About Civic Engagement: Vol. 2
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.nl.edu/space/vol2/iss1/2