Teach the Child, Not the Subject

“Teach the child, not the subject: The quintessential slogan of the progressive, child-centered movement of the 20th century. It is certainly true that the health and welfare of the child are more important than the academic subject matter. However, the slogan sets up an unfortunate and unnecessary dichotomy between the child’s social, physical, and emotional well-being and the teacher’s responsibility to teach the child the knowledge and skills that are essential elements of a good education. Both are important.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

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