Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Discipline



There has been quite a heated discussion of the new philosophy of education. The idea has been gradually emerging since the time of Plato, but not until recently has it been accepted by teachers. The problem is, shall we educate for life, or shall education be itself a process of good living? Dewey held at the beginning of the century that education is not a preparation for life but it is life.1 It has taken a third of a century to realize that the school curriculum should be mainly concerned with engaging in activities through which subject matter may be learned rather than teaching the traditional school subjects directly. The child is not regarded as a species of an empty reservoir to be filled as economically and effectively as possible, but as a living creature of endlessly diversified possibilities in activity and behavior.2 After much travail and labor various laboratory and progressive schools have come into existence. Within the past few decades definite changes have taken place in American life profoundly affecting the activities of individuals. The individual of today must as a citizen of America, be able to cope with the changed and changing community, state and national life. Running parallel to this change has been the lessening child training responsibility within the home due to the withdrawal of parents from the home to factories and stores, yet the child was not to be neglected since the child is "Father to the man," and his education and training must prepare for the future man. Thus education, with its broadening responsibility to meet changing needs, became education for a Democracy, or education based on needs and interests of the child.

1 Stomzand & McKee. The Progressive Primary Teacher, p. 1 Houghton Mifflin, New York. p. 1 2 Stomz St McKee. The Progressive Primary Teacher, p. 1

Health, worthy home membership, command of the fundamental processes, vocation, citizenship, use of leisure time and ethical character though definitely applicable to Secondary Schools, form the basis for teaching in Primary and Elementary Schools as well.

This thesis is concerned with the changed and changing methods used in teaching in primary grades. It shall have as its chief purpose the contrasting of the old and the new types of teaching used therein, in an effort to critically analyze each. References made to the traditional school is to that school of "subjects" in which "teaching, instructing and knowledge of subject matter were essential elements."1 On the other hand the activity school may be defined as the school whose program is based on needs and consists of experiences which uses subject matter but does not consist wholly of subject matter.2

In this thesis the writer intends to first set up the differences between the traditional and activity school and secondly, to contrast her actual procedures within both types. This study shall be limited to primary grades, and schools in the rural districts since the writer has only had experience in traditional and activity schools of the rural district.

1 Mead, C. D., and Orth, F. W. The Transitional Public School. Pp64-65 2. Lowth, F. J. Everyday Problems of the Country Teacher. Pp 403-405 d

Committee Chair/Advisor

H. C. Hamilton

Committee Member

A. C. Preston


Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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