Pragmatism: Overview & Practical Teaching Examples

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  • 0:01 Pragmatism
  • 0:50 Practical Learning
  • 2:21 Experiential Learning
  • 3:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

There are many different ways to approach education. Watch this lesson to find out about one of them, pragmatism, and the way that it combines practical and experiential learning to offer students a chance to grow and learn.

Pragmatism

Sally is a new teacher, and she's stressed out. She wants to make her lessons as good as possible, and to reach as many students as possible, but she's not sure how to do that. Add on top of that the fact that she's supposed to teach all sorts of information that seems completely useless in the real world, and she is worried that her students will leave her class having not gotten anything out of it.

Pragmatism is an educational philosophy that says that education should be about life and growth. That is, teachers should be teaching students things that are practical for life and encourage them to grow into better people. Many famous educators, including John Dewey, were pragmatists.

Let's look closer at how Sally can apply the basic principles of pragmatism to her lesson planning.

Practical Learning

Okay, Sally understands that education should be practical. But what, exactly, does that mean? And how will it look in her classroom?

The idea of practical learning is that education should apply to the real world. For example, if Sally is teaching students who live in an urban area, there might not be much practical application for them to learn about agricultural science. Or, if she's teaching at a school for children of farmers, there might be little need for her to teach art history.

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