From the educational practices of Mesopotamia to current interest in technology infusion, a variety of ways to teach have been developed over the centuries. Models and methods often reflect the society's goals for education and its other values. Whether the student is an active partner in the process also varies over time. This entry summarizes the history of teaching methods and examines more closely two primary strands: traditional teaching and progressive teaching.

Historical Record

Models and methods of teaching, or different educational practices, date back to the prehterate societies in ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). As city-states flourished (c. 3000–500 BCE), three major civilizations—the Sumerians, Akkadians, and Babylonians—developed the framework for the teaching of literature, writing, mathematics, and astronomy. Indeed, it was in the ancient ...

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