We are studying philosophy of education in social foundations. Students took a quiz to help determine which of five major philosophies they prefer. In the day class, about half the students (there are 39) favored progressivism, and the other half favored essentialism. I think there was one student who preferred existentialism, and one who was about evenly divided in terms of essentialism and progressivism. In the night class (37 students), one student was evenly divided between essentialism and progressivism, two students preferred essentialism, one preferred behaviorism, and all the rest favored progressivism. In the online class (17 students), it is harder to determine, because even though the quiz is available and there is a discussion question about it, not all students choose to address that question. But, so far, the students who are sharing thoughts about educational philosophy seem to favor progressivism.
All of which got me thinking. Sometimes in class I despair about the lack of discussion and participation, and it seems that chalk-and-talk is way too dominant. Then there are classes when the students are so involved that it is not possible to cover all the planned material. It varies from semester to semester, and class to class. The night class is very interactive, The day class is quieter, and I spend a lot of time thinking about how to encourage participation. After the quiz results, I was thinking, the greater number of essentialists than usual in the day class means that for at least half of the class, lecture is preferred much of the time. On the other hand, the strong majority of progressives in the night class means they are probably less satisfied on those days when I "deliver" a lecture. Something to keep in mind.