Education systems and the way they are developed and applied are a traditional subject of debate involving both pedagogy and psychology, philosophy and even politics.
However, there is a model that remains despite the passage of years and many criticisms: the traditional educational model. In this article, we will review the history and characteristics of this education system, as well as its main advantages and disadvantages.
What is the traditional educational model?
Also known as the traditional teaching model or traditional educational model, the traditional teaching model it is characterized by the marked difference in roles between pupil and teacher. In this type of education system, the student is a passive receiver of information, while the full weight of the educational process falls on the teacher, who must be an expert in the field.
Despite its seniority, it reached the top during the Industrial Revolution, where the traditional educational model stand out for their ease of application and the possibility of standardizing knowledge, So that one teacher can take care of the education of a large number of students.
These are some of the reasons why this system has gained such fame that it has become the benchmark educational model, which remains to this day and is the one that remains implemented in the vast majority of schools around the world, regardless of university degree.
Despite its popularity in the past, the traditional educational model is not without criticism. Over time, both students and teachers’ own bodies claim that it has become obsolete; being seen as a predictable model, not very stimulating and in need of urgent adaptation to a new era.
Development and history
The educational model in which a scientist or an expert in a series of knowledge transmitted his knowledge to a series of selected students dates back to the old academies of the High Middle Ages.
Throughout this historical stage, knowledge was something limited only to the Christian community, especially monks. This educational system was therefore characterized by a strong religious and moral basis.
For a long time, educational traditions remained confined to the religious class and it was not until the 18th century that a first educational revolution took place.
This revolution came from what, until today, was considered the father of modern education: John Amos Comenius. This Czech philosopher, educator and theologian created a new educational reform that quickly spread across Europe and aroused the interest of all governments in the education of their people.
As a result of this revolution, many theories, systems and teaching methods appeared, which is why, in order to regroup, unify and generalize these ideas, the first chair of pedagogy was created; developed by the University of Halle in Germany in 1770.
Among the theorists of this period are Joseph Lancaster, creator of the surveillance or mutual teaching movement, and Johan Heinrich Pestalozzi who applied the ideals of the enlightened movement to pedagogy.
Finally, with the advent of the industrial revolution, governments saw in the traditional teaching method the opportunity to transmit both the education and the values they deemed appropriate to a large number of people, in order to create many schools and educational centers which facilitated the expansion of universal education.
As we mentioned above, the ease of application of this system and the possibility of providing education to a large part of the population made the traditional model of education a reference system, which led to to its standardization and application in the vast majority of schools. .
This standardization which took place at the end of the 19th century still remains to this day, being the most widespread educational system in the world.
What are its main characteristics?
As described at the beginning of the article, the main characteristic of the traditional pedagogical model is that it is based on a basis of transmission and reception of information and knowledge.
According to this model, the best teaching method is one in which the teacher transmits his knowledge directly to his students, who are a passive part of the learning process.
In the traditional pedagogical model, the weight of the transmission of education rests mainly on the figure of the teacher, who must generate his own teaching strategies and expose his knowledge to the pupil.
However, there are other characteristics that distinguish the traditional educational model. These include:
- The teacher must not only be an expert in his field, but must also be able to transmit information effectively.
- The function of the pupils is to try to understand and memorize the information.
- The primary learning tool for a student is memory.
- The way students establish their knowledge is through practice and repetition.
- Self-discipline is the main requirement of students.
- Examinations and assessment tests allow the teacher to know whether the students have acquired the knowledge.
Advantages and disadvantages of this system
Over time and research in the field of pedagogy, we discovered that in the traditional pedagogical model, they are not all advantagesBut it also has some flaws that need to be changed, as well as the adaptation of this system to new times.
Some of the advantages and disadvantages of this educational model include:
- It allows knowledge to be imparted to a large number of people at the same time, without needing to have many educational resources.
- It generates self-discipline and promotes the development of personal effort.
- It is the most efficient way to transmit pure data such as dates and numeric data.
- It does not require a process of adaptation to teaching, neither by the pupil nor by the teacher.
- It promotes memory processes.
- It focuses only on memorizing information and not so much on understanding it.
- Assessment methods generate frustration and stress in students.
- Data memorization is generally not beneficial for the development of skills necessary to cope with the real world.
- It does not stimulate the curiosity and creativity of the students.
- It encourages comparison and competition among students, rather than collaboration and cooperation, which has a negative effect on self-esteem.
- It has been shown that most of the knowledge gained through this method ends up being forgotten over time.