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Vasile Chis. Provocarile Pedagogiei Contemporane. Presa Universitara Clujeana, 2002.

Abstract: Vasile Chis (2002), Challenges of Contemporary Pedagogy, Cluj University Pres, p. 221, ISBN 973-610-074-x

The school of formal education, with its well-established formula of a common and compulsory curriculum for all is nowadays a matter of history of pedagogy. The new educational models assume dynamism and flexibility as well as the possibility of adaptation to the training needs of individuals and community. The school, as a self-contained unit or as a solitary actor within a socio-professional context, isolated from the community irrevocably stops its existence. The future belongs to the innovative school, to the web of the educational institutions, connected to common experimental programs of teaching, learning, the management and promoting of quality in education. More then ever, the modern school is preoccupied with identifying and developing structures of the effective and active learning throughout the life.
A new pedagogy for the school context as a whole, including the higher education, but also the lifelong learning becomes imperiously necessary. Its construction essentially involves dimensions and tendencies of novelty in the field, found in a continuum complementarily and accordance.
The present work with the title: "The challenges of the contemporary pedagogy" analyses the significant evolutions of the domain until the present. Just prefigured developments within the horizon of the new pedagogies are then emphasized, evolutions that announce themselves to be spectacular and promise to gradually gain contour in the following years.
Over the years two contrasting paradigms succeeded: the classic paradigm, predominantly teacher-centered and the contemporary paradigm, mainly centered on child, group and learning experiences. From the traditional pedagogy that promoted the educational model of transmission / listening / assimilation / reproduction we passed to a pedagogy that makes the pupil more responsible within the process of his own instruction and formation. So, today we speak about an interactive pedagogy that puts value on pupils' cognitive and practical activity, on the interactions and sharing of ideas, developed within the process of learning.
The change of concepts and strategies registered within the evolution of the contemporary pedagogy -from the pedagogy of listening to that of action and then to that of interaction - is the object of the Chapter I of the present book. In a synthetic manner, the essence of traditional pedagogy and the contributions of the experimental pedagogy are comparatively described, regarding both their theoretical - descriptive and normative- and applicative dimensions.
Making use of elements of comparative pedagogy and analyzing practical issues - teacher training in the new paradigm of the experimental pedagogy, the modernization of pedagogical practice in the world, the significant Romanian contribution to the development of scientific, experimental pedagogy - the author succeeds in justifying the syntagma " pedagogical revolution" attributed to the new pedagogies, as results quite from the beginning of the first chapter.
Chapter II offers and analyses suggestions regarding the effective instruction and formation of pupils from the age of early childhood to the higher education and postgraduate education period and to lifelong education. The author takes as a starting point of his analysis the emphasis on the interaction between the pedagogical action and the interpersonal relations that define the interactive pedagogy. By the undertaking of the idea that "learning how to learn" and "lifelong learning" are the priorities of the contemporary education, the fact that modern school is searching for new structures of effective and active learning is stressed in the present work. These new ways of learning will be used not only during the school period, but also within the continuing education initiatives that develop throughout the entire life. It is about the interactive experience pedagogy, the computer assisted learning and about the advanced distributed learning that offers a large spectrum of sequences consistent with the needs of the beneficiary.
Invoking current comparative studies, the author concludes that the entrepreneurial approach of the new educational structures is evident. This involves the planning of the school according with the needs of the community. New technologies assisted learning and, moreover the advanced distributed learning - that offers educational services anytime, to anybody and anywhere the educational need is present - become the main challenges of the contemporary pedagogy.
The main operational concept within the educational process is that of curriculum, a concept that in Romania became operative within the educational reform, after 1990 and particularly after 1996. The third chapter of the present volume offers an explicit presentation of this concept and its theoretical framework: its new definition according with the new pedagogy perspective, the argumentation of its integrating character, the inventory of the curriculum taxonomy and criteria of organization, the description of certain practical suggestions for the logical and pedagogical organization of the curriculum offer, the examination of curriculum design and planning elements etc. All these analyses are considered from the perspective of the comprehensive educational reform designed in 1997 by The Ministry of National Education.
The manner the topics of the book are developed makes evident the focus of the present work on practical issues of the Romanian educational reform: necessary qualities for the curriculum, new curricular programs, the new taxonomy of the educational objectives, the existence of the curricular cycles and areas, the segment of curriculum left to school's decision, the new orientations within the methodology of instruction such as the transition from expositive methods to active and interactive methods, the models of curriculum integration, the integrated curriculum etc.
The discussion on all these aspects is doubled by comments and concrete, practical examples, schemas and illustrative tables meant to bring the reader closer to the practical side of the educational activities that are developed in the context of the current Romanian educational reform. Beyond the appearance of just a changing of terminology, the presentation of the curriculum is convincing the reader through examples and solid reasons, the new approach of the educational process being situated to more refined analysis levels comparing with that of a surface behaviorism proper to the traditional didactics.
Chapter IV focuses on the same objective, an original research project being described. The analyzed case study refers to the impact of the curriculum reform within the compulsory education. The author carried out the study during the school year 2000-2001, in a representative comprehensive school. The information gathered using certain pedagogical investigation methods such as: the questionnaire, the focus group interview, the analysis of the attributes based on a checklist etc. enabled the author to formulate certain conclusions regarding the way the reform was perceived, accepted and applied within the compulsory education.
The book is ended by a conclusive chapter that condenses the significant aspects reviled by the quantitative and qualitative analyses developed by the author on the case study.
The fact that the present work puts on balance in a optimal manner the current data offered by the electronic register on the one hand, and by the classical text with its message developed by generations of pedagogues on the other hand is certainly remarkable.
On the whole, the present book is a very useful work instrument for both theorists and practitioners within the field of education.

Keywords: Traditional Pedagogy, Modern Pedagogy


Posted by Vasile Chis


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