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The Traditional vs the Progressive Approach of Teaching-Learning

  Traditional notions and progressive approach of teaching-learning, what have we ever know about this on schooling? I ever wonder, what would be the proper method that we need as humans?

  On the other hand, during my journey as an educator, along with several schools that I have been joined purposely and non-purposely, very often, I ever wonder why each school is using a different kind of curriculum? Is there anything special in their curriculum? Why there is IB Curriculum? A-Level Curriculum? And AP Curriculum? How can they be related to teaching and learning?

  Now, reflecting on Dewey (1938) referred as mis-educative and educative along the lines of the principle, that I totally agreed on “neither method is adequate, because of neither of them applies the principles of a carefully developed”, and that is by support in Dewey (1938) about the educative process can be identified with growth when that is understood in terms of the active participle. Therefore, reflecting on my teaching-learning process, even though the method is not fully perfect, but I am glad to know about I have applied the method of teaching and learning throughout reflection like Richard P. Feynman (1965) has ever suggested in his learning technique, like identifying the topic, explain the topic, identify the areas of improvement in your explanation, improve and optimize your explanation, and repeat the steps. Even though the learning method that has been applied as Teaching and Learning styled not perfect, and still need many adjustments, but the methods themselves have succeeded in helping me and my student over the courses to keep ourselves on personal improvement in each lesson.

  Hence, what is the continuity of the teaching? In my understanding over my milieu of teaching and learning, the continuity only can be happened if we have known about, we build a successful connection between our specialist subject-matter and our non-specialist subject-matter on how they have actually linked each other in purposely and minimum our learner can mimicry this method into their field. Take an example here while I was teaching mathematics lessons, very often in my lecture I often brought this topic into our daily life. Such as in our discussion about limits, in order to help my student to be able to be digesting the topic easily, I will bring the topic to some conversational language in a form of stories, and that is like Prof. Jean Clandinin (2012) mentioned: “people live and tell stories and that’s our way of thinking.”

  Although we have known about this continuity idea, once we think it up to this point, we have realized about the main criteria are not on the traditional and progressive education, but throughout result in our evaluation in the educational experience. Together with the terms of continuity as we know in mathematics, we know a function is continuous if there is no missing points or breaking points in a given interval and domains, with understanding, on the educational progress that we set up our time frame and our area of implementation to which direction that we want this to keep on progress.

  As usual, if I can metaphor it to LEGO, like how we get our first LEGO, and how we make our LEGO building to become much more attractive into our style and not breaking the LEGO bricks format. In terms, even though we have followed the manual guide, but we still can build creativity over creation that can be fitting with how we want it to become and we could reflect ourselves about what kind of design and how it will function. An example like in LEGO Mindstorm if we want our LEGO robot to move straight and back, then we need to set up such a command on how many steps of forward then the Robot will walk backward. Then we could make some improvement once we enjoy it by changing the command to some other step as we pleased, to help us remember how the logical idea can be implemented.

  Therefore, to answer my question, and in the area that I currently work as a mathematical physicist, not only do we have to give them a traditional way as a foundation of mathematics and physics that we follow in whatever curriculum. But, as educators, we also have to give our learners and learn the progressive situation like the current situation of mathematics and physics that they can see, and notice easily. Lastly, we can implement in holistically approach that we guide them over real-life application on how this learning can help our learners on their progress of living as human beings, to let everyone feel about they learn something even though they don’t remember anything (Linda Alber)


Alber, R. (2017). Rules and routines in the classroom. Retrieved from

BYJUS. (2021). Limit and Continuity. Retrieved from Limits and Continuity | Definitions, Formulas and Examples (

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and Education. Retrieved from

Gleick, James. (2011). The Life and Science of Richard Feynmann. Published by Pantheon. ISBN: 978-067979408369

MikeO. (2012, September 16). A short video interview with Prof. Jean Clandinin. Retrieved from A short video interview with Prof. Jean Clandinin.

Vedantu. (2021). What is Continuity?. Retrieved from Continuity and Differentiability (


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