The progressive approach to learning is far different from that of the traditional approach. That is, educators devise curriculum and related learning activities, engage parents and/or significant others in said activities, present goals and objectives and establish standards and expectations for their students in ways that allegedly prepare the)n to survive in the world and, later, to compete in the marketplace. This is accomplished by educators manifesting eclectic philosophies that evidence contributions by numerous traditional philosophical schools (i.e., idealism, realism, pragmatism, reconstructionism, behaviorism, and existentialism (Ozmon & Craver, 1990). Elkind (1988) notes that the result of such orientation on the part of educators is the hurried child. This child, contrary to children who were educated decades ago, is presented with learning that emphasizes adult perspectives while disregarding many of the needs of children. Elkind (1988, 3) notes:
The concept of childhood, so vital to the traditional American way of life, is threatened with extinction in the society we have created. Today's child has become the unwilling, unintended victim of overwhelming stress the stress borne of rapid, bewildering social change and constantly rising expectations. The contemporary parent dwells in a pressure-cooker of competing demands, transitions, role changes, personal and professional uncertainties, over which he or she exerts slight direction .... by hurrying children to grow up, or by treating them as adults, we hope to remove a portion of our burden of worry and anxiety and to enlist our,children's aid in carrying life's load.
The progressive approach to learning, while offering numerous benefits to children, as well present for them several disadvantages. This is particularly the case for the emotional development of children who are educated and reared as hurried children.