Traditions paper Essay


Traditions paper

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Over the last two decades, the demand for quality education has intensified drastically.  In a similar tone, education traditions are strongly shifting to modern approaches that seek to guarantee skills and quality that are useful in the society.  This has possibly been invoked by Globalization that has dramatically changed and made education a social, economic, and civic imperative.  Cohen (2000) points out that young people who fail to acquire numeric and literacy skills that are compatible with the modern world find themselves locked out of major opportunities a notion that has put the society at crossroads in search for traditions that would guarantee the same.

Liberal/ progressive traditions form the best system of propelling educational demands in the 21st century due to their flexibility capacity in the dynamic world (Viereck, 2006).  Besides, progressive traditions have a traditional derivation that has developed over time with strong focus of the future societal demands.  Notably, education is one of the most important sectors that define the future of a country.  Good and focused traditions form the correct recipe for growth and development in a country.

Overview of the paper

This paper explores the traditions from a liberal progressive point of view by evaluating its main aspects and implications to schooling in the 21st century.  Using theories and principles of education with reference to cognitive development, the paper compares other traditions approaches and how their curriculum differs from the liberal/progressive tradition.  Besides, the paper examines the societal groups and their preferences for different traditions and factors determining their choices.  Finally, it outlines the author’s position regarding traditions and derives recommendations that are essential in making the future more promising to the younger generations.

Progression of education and traditions in the society

Education as a concept is possibly as old as man himself.  However, formal educations and particularly schooling sprouted during the industrial revolution.  During this time, the schooling movement spread out globally throughout the fast industrializing states as adults had to spend more time in the industries and their siblings needed their care.  Therefore, many of educational traditions which have their setting in this period (late 18th and early 20th century) are considered to have been spontaneous and therefore lacked effective basic essence of development (Jeff, 2000).  However, most of the conservative traditions are based on these demands and therefore highly ineffective in the modern world.  Over the years, these traditions have persisted with strong resistance for change due to latter human inclination to them and intrinsic sycophancy in the administration.

Conservative traditions

According to Cohen (2000), conservative traditions have persisted in the American system and posses as one of the deeply entrenched systems to change.  Notably, they form the major realm upon which other traditions are derived from.  Though these traditions have changed with time, the pace has been very slow to accommodate the fast changing demands of the community.  The family is considered to be the prime factor in education and a major factor in dictating the orientation of the content to be used in the learning process.  Academic instructors are generally seen as the sources of knowledge and authority as reflected in the school system.  This tradition has over the years failed to emphasize on the students to seek extra information on top of the materials given to them by their teachers.

According (Viereck, 2006), many students would opt to do other activities instead of leaning in absence of assignments.  To add to that, the students are evaluated by grades which they achieve in the tests a notion which makes the system lack the necessary external orientation and fail to acknowledge other talents on educational terms.  The studies focus on American heritage and cross cultural demands as well as giving equal opportunity to all people.  However, this notion fails to acknowledge on multiculturalism and diversity necessary to ensure that the young people develop the global ideals at a tender age.  Besides, there is lack of equal outcome, self esteem and relativism demands a consideration that educationists have described to be highly perilous in the 21st century.

This tradition curriculum is based on facts, ideas and methods based on research for the learners.  Though this system has developed to include various skills in the practical operations over time, it is still considered to be highly inadequate and less compatible with the current society.  It fails to give the students a greater role in the learning process and may lead to failure of full potential achievement.

Progressive traditions

These traditions provide the main notion that most of the educationists have been clamoring for in the last decade of 20th century and 21st century.   Liberal educationists point out that the school has suffered for a long time from lack of willingness by the conservative educationists and the political systems to entrench major reforms that would make the current curriculum become relevant to the current global trends.  Teacher’s role is usually a facilitator and the student should participate actively in getting knowledge (Viereck, 2006).  Unlike in the conservative model, learning is self directed and fully based on discovery and cooperation between groups in education and practical fields.

This system’s reading focuses on the whole language with subjects such as mathematics being highly interactive with discursive consideration and denounces memorization.  Besides, studies also focus on global citizenship, multiculturalism and are strongly based on diversity.  With the outcome being based on the extended society, it is clear that this system gives an expanded outlook from the classroom setting (Timothy, 2000).  Besides, it seeks to dislodge the notion of education being the core function of the parents by placing transitory and emphatic demands to the teachers and the system to shape the development.

The curriculum of this system is usually based on balance between academic and different social concerns in the society.  Therefore it aims at giving the necessary grip for external demands fulfillment by the society - Traditions paper Essay introduction. To add to that, it is concerned with student’s higher levels of reasoning which is necessary for solving the different lifetime problems in the society.  It is projected to assist the learners in operating on a global scale.

Radical traditions

Unlike the last two systems, radical school of thoughts has borrowed heavily from Marxism theories based on class equality that characterizes schools in the wider society.  This school of thought indicates that education should be made available to all at all costs to ensure greater equality in later opportunities.  According to the radical education theory, facilities should be made available to all as opposed to the current public and private schools demise.  This school of thought denotes that freedom should be articulated within the discourse of holistic pedagogy.  Radical educationists argue that school discipline, academic standards and authority in education is a coercion imposition that strongly limits development.  Social classes are required to be harmonized to ensure that leaning is extended beyond classroom with similar magnitude.

However, these traditions have been cited to have major loopholes and therefore not applicable in the society today.  Gustavo (2005) notes that they fail to acknowledge that school curriculum and demand for discipline is not just a social construction, but a historical derivation that is morally guided to assist learners aim high in their careers.  Though they give effective criticism to the earlier two schools of thought, they failed to consider all the dimensions of education and therefore making it to be poorly placed to provide or dictate aspects of critical knowledge, culture and language in the learning realms.

Traditions analysis and future projections in education sector

Notably, US appears to be divided over which traditions that should be followed.  Indeed, the federal government has over the years stuck to the conservative tradition which has continued to elicit greater criticism in the whole country.  Globally, the demand for high tech education system has seen Americans shift to other forms of education like home schooling computerized options to dissociate the young people from the seemingly ‘unhelpful’ system.  Timothy (2000) points out that radical tradition have negative impacts to the learners and tutors by promoting indiscipline and eventual reduced development.  As indicated earlier, US being a highly multi ethnic state, it requires effective laws and regulations upon which aspects of education and development can be based on.

To ensure that this system establishes the correct platform for learning in the modern age, it is important that radical teachers seek redress in the system’s demand and operation taking into consideration that discipline should be limited to certain levels especially for the students.  Notably, these traditions do not have vast supporters in US due to the exposure to possible deterioration and reduced learner’s progress in the society (Gustavo, 2005).  However, many students have indicated possible inclination towards the system but with little progress as most decisions are made by their parents and the administration.

Timothy (2000) argues that conservative traditions have been preferred by most of the middle and lower working classes in US due to the fact that the system advocates for free system of educations as most of the lower and middle class cannot afford to take their children to private schools.  This notion however takes no consideration of the inclusive development and demands of Globalization.  On the other hand, the liberal/progressive tradition is increasingly being preferred by the upper section of the middle class as their views on education continue to change.  However, it is fully supported by the higher class people as they see possible greater development and better future for their children.  The system is also gaining popularity due to increased media focus on its benefits to the society.


Progressive traditions are better in the current society due to their intrinsic orientation and increased future focus for the younger generations. The long term focus of the conservative traditions has not just lost credibility, but is a major threat to the US future capacity to maintain its superiority.  Notably, the current status of US is mostly based on research and provision of better products and services to the communities globally.  This system can only be supported by a curriculum that is externally based on the society demands for development as provided for by liberal traditions.  However, it is necessary to ensure that all the systems cohere with the system and provides room for inclusive adjustments for upgrading to cater for future demands.  It should also seek greater stake in international setting where the curriculum focuses to solution of the local as well as the global issues.

















Reference list

Cohen, S. (2000). Traditions of American Education. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Gustavo, F. (2005). Critical theories, radical pedagogies, and global conflicts. Washington:         Rowman & Littlefield.

Jeff, A. (2000). Learning in the way: research and reflection on adult Christian education. New York: Sage

Timothy, G.  (2000). Non-Western educational traditions: alternative approaches to educational thought and practice. New York: Sage.

Viereck, P. (2006). Conservative thinkers: from John Adams to Winston Churchill. Chicago:        Transaction Publishers.


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