Evolution of teaching resources and methods

Ancient educationAbout 3000 BC, with the advent of writing, education became moreconscious or self-reflection, with specialized occupationsrequiring particular skills and knowledge on how to be a scribe, anastronomer, etc.Philosophy in ancient Greece led to questions of educational methodentering national discourse. In his Republic, Plato describes asystem of instruction that he felt would lead to an ideal state. Inhis Dialogues, Plato describes the Socratic method.It has been the intent of many educators since then, such as theRoman educator Quintillion, to find specific, interesting ways toencourage students to use their intelligence and to help them tolearn.Medieval educationComenius, in Bohemia, wanted all boys and girls to learn. In hisThe World in Pictures, he gave the first vivid, illustratedtextbook which contained much that children would be familiar within everyday life, and use it to teach the academic subjects theyneeded to know. Rabelais described how the student Gargantuanlearned about the world, and what is in it.Much later, Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his Emile, presentedmethodology to teach children the elements of science and muchmore. In it, he famously eschewed books, saying the world is one’sbook. And so Emile was brought out into the woods without breakfastto learn the cardinal directions and the positions of the sun as hefound his way home for something to eat.There was also Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi of Switzerland, whosemethodology during Napoleonic warfare enabled refugee children, ofa class believed to be unteachable, to learn – and love to learn.He describes this in his account of the educational experiment atStanza. He felt the key to have children learn is for them to beloved, but his method, though transmitted later in the school foreducators he founded, has been thought “too unclear to be taughttoday”. One result was, when he would ask, “Children, do you wantto learn more or go to sleep?” they would reply, “Learn more!”19th century – compulsory educationThe Prussian education system was a system of mandatory educationdating to the early 19th century. Parts of the Prussian educationsystem have served as models for the education systems in a numberof other countries, including Japan and the United States. ThePrussian model had a side effect of requiring additional classroommanagement skills to be incorporated into the teaching process orTeacherresources.20th centuryIn the 20th century, the philosopher, Eli Siegel, who believed thatall children are equally capable of learning regardless of ethnicbackground or social class, stated: “The purpose of all educationis to like the world through knowing it.” This is a goal which isimplicit in previous educators, but in this principle, it is madeconscious. With this principle at basis, teachers, predominantly inNew York, have found that students learn the curriculum with thekind of eagerness that Pestalozzi describes for his students atStanza centuries earlier.Many current teaching philosophies are aimed at fulfilling theprecepts of a curriculum based on Specially Designed AcademicInstruction in English (SDAIE). Arguably the qualities of a SDAIEcurriculum are as effective if not more so for all ‘regular’classrooms.21st century – Rise of Met cognitionThe latest Teacher resources, teaching approaches encouragedevelopment of met cognition skills, and often leverage informationavailable from neurophysiology studies.