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A manifesto for Progressive Educators

Progressive communities ... endeavor to shape the experiences of the young so that instead of reproducing current habits, better habits shall be formed, and thus the future adult society be an improvement on their own.

- JOHN DEWEY, DEMOCRACY AND EDUCATION

 

More than ever, we need to prepare and inspire our children to change the world.

The next generation will inherit many global challenges – from environmental to social; from political to ethical. Let’s nurture in them the skills and strengths to embrace these challenges and create positive, sustainable solutions. Skills like critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration. Strengths like initiative, resilience, empathy and awareness.

Our schools often fail to do this. They're distracted, their efforts misdirected. They focus on accumulation of facts; standardised testing; deference to authority. Or they simply give in to the pressures of economic efficiency and social convention.

We have to change the way our schools work. We need them to reflect the dynamic nature of the world we live in. To give the next generation the education they deserve – and need. An education based on student-directed approaches that focuses on problem solving, cooperative projects and social skills. That encourage curiosity, and value experiential learning. That emphasise entrepreneurship and civic participation.

To adapt and evolve, our society must be progressive - constantly innovating and exploring better ways of living with each other, and within the broader world. To prepare our children to become citizens of a more progressive society, we need to be constantly innovating, and exploring more progressive forms of education.

Forging a path of such significant change alone is a foolhardy endeavour. The aim of the Progressive Educators Network is to serve as a meeting place for those on this journey. A point of inspiration and collaboration, or simply solace and support.

Welcome.

Brett Rolfe

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