Pragmatists want to construct such a flexible, dynamic and integrated curriculum which helps in the development of the child. According to pragmatism only those subjects, activities and experiences should be included in the curriculum which are useful to the present needs of the child and meet the future expectations of adult life as well.
Knowledge, of languages, hygiene, physical training, history, geography, mathematics, science, agriculture and professional subjects is compulsory.
The main purpose is to help the child more and more in his development in all the fields of human activity. Only those activities and experiences in which the child takes interest should be included in the curriculum. The curriculum should consist of such varieties of learning experiences which promote original thinking and freedom to develop social and purposeful attitudes.
According to Pragmatism knowledge is one unit. It cannot be divided into water tight compartments of separate subjects. Teaching of various units should be closely inter-linked and co-related so as to form right concept and proper understanding in the children.
Pragmatism and Methods of Teaching
Pragmatism is opposed to the traditional methods of teaching. It favors child-centered, scientific and psychological and active methods of teaching. Pragmatism has contributed significantly to the methods of teaching. Pragmatists laid stress on learning through activities and the real life situations.
Their main methods are Project method and Problem-solving method. Through these methods a child attains knowledge by solving his practical problems. These methods are experimental and creative.
These methods lay emphasis on learning by doing and learning through experience. Both the teacher and taught remain active. Pragmatism does not merely insist upon practical activities but tries to provide real life experiences and real life situations so that the child gains the required insight and capacities to face and solve the problems and challenges of life successfully.
To it only that method is most effective which employs correlation and integration of all subjects, activities and experiences.
Pragmatism and Discipline
To Dewey discipline is a sort of mental state in the formation of which social conditions play a major role. Pragmatism condemns enforced discipline and advocates social discipline based on child’s interests, activities and a sense of social responsibility.
Pragmatism advocates the merging of play with work. This merging of play and work will develop interest and a sense of purpose in the child to do his work with joy and eagerness without interfering with the work of others. This mental condition will infuse in him seriousness, sincerity and consideration for others.
He will develop self-confidence, self-reliance, co-operation, sacrifice, sympathy and fellow-feeling for others. With the development of these social qualities he will develop a sense of social discipline and moral obligation towards self and others.
Hence according to pragmatism, the school should provide purposeful and conducive experiences to the child in a free and congenial atmosphere, which helps him becoming a true citizen in the real sense.
Such activities create in children virtues like mutual respect, toleration, self-control and originality. This helps him in the training of character formation and establishment of self discipline.
Pragmatism and Student
Pragmatism gives an important place to the child. The aim of education should be to prepare the child for the society so that he can become responsible citizen and succeed in life. This philosophy stresses child-centered education. There are three aspects of child’s personality-Biological, Psychological and Social.
Pragmatism lays emphasis on social aspect. This philosophy considers a child as an important part of educative process. It does not want to impose external ideas upon the child. It is in favor of giving him academic freedom. It wants to educate the child in social environment.