Classroom Change in Developing Countries : From Progressive Cage to Formalistic Frame book cover
1st Edition

Classroom Change in Developing Countries
From Progressive Cage to Formalistic Frame

ISBN 9780815355199
Published March 4, 2018 by Routledge
266 Pages

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Book Description

Progressive Education, derived mainly from Anglo-American culture, has been the primary frame of reference for student-centered classroom change in developing countries for over 50 years. Yet in many developing countries, strong evidence shows that progressivism has not replaced teacher-centered formalistic classroom practice. Classroom Change in Developing Countries: From Progressive Cage to Formalistic Frame presents a robust case for why formalism should be the primary frame of reference for upgrading classroom teaching in developing countries. Theoretically rich yet grounded in practice, the book draws on case studies from Africa, China and Papua New Guinea to show how culturally intuitive formalistic teaching styles can induce positive classroom change.

Synthesising research and evaluation literature on classroom change in developing countries, Guthrie examines some of the methodological flaws in the literature. The book considers the progressive cage, and looks at Confucian influences on teaching in China, progressive reform failures in both Sub-Saharan Africa and Papua New Guinea, as well as offering a critical take on some failings in comparative education. It examines the formalistic frame, addresses methodological issues in culturally grounded research and offers a model of teaching styles for basic classroom research. The book concludes by returning the focus back to teachers and considers the so-called teacher resistance to change.

The book will be an essential purchase for academics and research students engaged in the fields of classroom teaching, teacher education and curriculum and will also be of interest to academics, aid officials, and decision-makers in developing countries.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Soft Power and the Culture Wars


Chapter 2. Typology of Progressive Reform Findings

Chapter 3. Theoretical and Methodological Limitations

Chapter 4. Formalistic Tradition in China

Chapter 5. The Formalistic Paradigm in Africa

Chapter 6. Culture and Schooling in Papua New Guinea

Chapter 7. The Failure of Progressive Paradigm Reversal


Chapter 8. Theory of Formalism

Chapter 9. Culturally Grounded Methodology

Chapter 10. Teaching Styles Model

Chapter 11. Teacher Constructs and Classroom Change

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Dr Gerard Guthrie is an educationalist with 45 years of experience who has specialised in teaching styles in developing countries.