5.28.16 Week End Update

Throwback edition


From "Traditional vs. Progressive Education." (1938) "The main purpose or objective [of traditional education] is to prepare the young for future responsibilities and for success in life, by means of acquisition of the organized bodies of information and prepared forms of skill which comprehend the material of instruction. Since the subject-matter as well as standards of proper conduct are handed down from the past, the attitude of pupils must, upon the whole, be one of docility, receptivity, and obedience. Books, especially textbooks, are the chief representatives of the lore and wisdom of the past, while teachers are the organs through which pupils are brought into effective connection with the material. …The rise of what is called new education and progressive schools is of itself a product of discontent with traditional education. In effect it is a criticism of the latter…. [Traditional learning]…means acquisition of what already is incorporated in books and in the heads of the elders. Moreover, that which is taught is thought of as essentially static. It is taught as a finished product, with little regard either to the ways in which it was originally built up or to changes that will surely occur in the future. It is to a large extent the cultural product of societies that assumed the future would be much like the past, and yet it is used as educational food in a society where change is the rule, not the exception.

“If one attempts to formulate the philosophy of education implicit in the practices of the newer education, we may, I think, discover certain common principles amid the variety of progressive schools now existing. To imposition from above is opposed expression and cultivation of individuality; to external discipline is opposed free activity; to learning from texts and teachers, learning through experience; to acquisition of isolated skills and techniques by drill, is opposed acquisition of them as means of attaining ends which make direct vital appeal; to preparation for a more or less remote future is opposed making the most of the opportunities of present life; to static aims and materials is opposed acquaintance with a changing world….”


As we embark on a Scope and Sequence exercise, it is interesting to consider what Dewey had to say on the topic 75 years ago. From "Progressive Organization of Subject-Matter." (1938) “Allusion has been made in passing a number of times to objective conditions involved in experience and to their function in promoting or failing to promote the enriched growth of further experience. By implication, these objective conditions, whether those of observation, of memory, of information procured from others, or of imagination, have been identified with the subject-matter of study and learning; or, speaking more generally, with the stuff of the course of study. Nothing, however, has been said explicitly so far about subject-matter as such. … Anything which can be called a study, whether arithmetic, history, geography, or one of the natural sciences, must be derived from materials which at the outset fall within the scope of ordinary life-experience. In this respect the newer education contrasts sharply with procedures which start with facts and truths that are outside the range of the experience of those taught, and which, therefore, have the problem of discovering ways and means of bringing them within experience.

"…But finding the material for learning within experience is only the first step. The next step is the progressive development of what is already experienced into a fuller and richer and also more organized form, a form that gradually approximates that in which subject-matter is presented to the skilled, mature person.

"…It is a cardinal precept of the newer school of education that the beginning of instruction shall be made with the experience learners already have; that this experience and the capacities that have been developed during its course provide the starting point for all further learning….

The educator more than the member of any other profession is concerned to have a long look ahead…. The educator by the very nature of his work is obliged to see his present work in terms of what it accomplishes, or fails to accomplish, for a future whose objects are linked with those of the present.

"Here, again, the problem for the progressive educator is more difficult than for the teacher in the traditional school. The latter had indeed to look ahead. But unless his personality and enthusiasm took him beyond the limits that hedged in the traditional school, he could content himself with thinking of the next examination period or the promotion to the next class. He could envisage the future in terms of factors that lay within the requirements of the school system as that conventionally existed. There is incumbent upon the teacher who links education and actual experience together a more serious and a harder business. He must be aware of the potentialities for leading students into new fields which belong to experiences already had, and must use this knowledge as his criterion for selection and arrangement of the conditions that influence their present experience.”


"Education means teaching people how to think, how to learn, and how to behave alone. The best teacher ever seeks to make himself dispensable."

"It is foolish to impose the curriculum of an ancient, learned society on the masses of college candidates in our commercial day."

“Every growing and going concern should…have sort of a rummage sale of methods, ideas, and even of ideals. We ought to take out the venerated antique and ask if it is really beautiful or useful; or if, to speak with brutal frankness, it had better not be scrapped. Just as the Salvation Army junk wagon has been the salvation of many a housekeeper, so such frank revaluation of our venerated and unimprovable ways of doing things might result in our rejecting and discarding certain customs to make room for methods....”


"But on Memorial Day, for on the very 30th of May I write, the bushes all afoam with lilac, the trees all gay with song, with so much vital promise about us, I think of the boys who are gone. They loved life. They had all manner of innocent hopes and plans. They wanted to be living now, and expected, with vague assurance, to enjoy many a springtime, just like today. There was Walker, who looked towards politics and public service - well he was shot at 22 in Belleau Wood. There was Harry, just following his father in the law, fallen at Cantigny. There was Norton, so virile and gay, with his sweet family about him, - lost, plane and man, lost in the fogs of the Channel. And there was Jim, not anything yet save lovable and winning - a tank went over him and crushed him into the wire and mire. It’s only yesterday they were here, among the lilacs and songs of birds and the songs of hope; and we find ourselves wistfully wishing they they could have lived longer, to taste more of life, and not be cut off before their prime.”


Revised end of the year final assessment period:

Tuesday, May 31

8:00 – 9:00 End of the year Chapel Awards Ceremony

9:05-9:55 C Block

10:00-10:50 A Block

10:55-11:20 Hum Flex

11:25-12:15 F Block


1:15-2:35 B Block

2:40-3:30 Department Meetings

Wednesday, June 1 (as published in the calendar)

9:00 AM - Final grades due for Sixth Formers

Thursday, June 2 (Note: Only Arts, Humanities and Language Classes can give/ collect final assessments during these blocks; Math and Science classes may meet at the teachers’ discretion for review/ extra help.)

Chapel 8-8:30

A Block 8:45-10:15

B Block 10:45-12:15

C Block 1:30-3:00

Friday, June 3 (Note: Only Arts, Humanities and Language Classes can give/ collect final assessments during these blocks; Math and Science classes may meet at the teachers’ discretion for review/ extra help.)

Chapel 8-8:30

D Block 8:45-10:15

E Block 10:45-12:15

F Block 1:30-3:00

Monday, June 6

Chapel 9-9:30

9:45 - Science exams

Tuesday, June 7

Chapel 9-9:30

9:45 - Math exams

Friday, June 10

9:00 AM - Final grades due for Third, Fourth and Fifth Formers