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Volume 4, Issue 1 (1975)

Reading-Related Behavior in an Open Classroom: Effects of Novelty and Modeling on Preschoolers

pp. 47—52

The movement toward “free” education and “open” classrooms is today one of the prominent reformist movements in education. The principal difference between traditional or formal schools and open ones is that, whereas the former are typically structured for group learning, open classrooms provide a more flexible, individual, or child-centered structure for learning. Advocates of the free-school movement feel that school should be a place in which the child himself can assume the “natural” responsibility for his own learning, and in which he is encouraged to explore and develop his unique “inner” potential. While for many, the open classroom is a movement toward happier children and happier teachers, for others it represents a dangerous or uncertain extension of permissiveness, all of which recalls earlier debates on progressive education in the years during which Dewey (e.g., 1938) was writing about the continuity of educational and mis-educational experience.

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