Deweyan Progressive Education within Ontario Elementary Health and Physical Education

  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Ryan Nipissing
  • Daniel T. Ryan Nipissing University, North Bay Ontario, Canada


The objective is to explore Deweyan Progressive Education within Ontario Health and Physical Education. The need to review this area was instigated within the last two years as the Ontario provincial government in Canada has implemented new 2019 Ontario Health and Physical Education curricular guide which contains significant modernizations. The document established a concern for mental health development, online safety, bullying prevention, road safety, substance abuse, concussions, and healthy body image within the 250-page document. The authors undertook a latent content analysis revealing a challenge to compress this curricular content into Health and Physical Education classes that are infrequently scheduled. Teachers, it is understood, will learn that students need progressive instruction and constructive feedback as they practise, reflect, and learn experientially in a safe environment. This review supports educators as they work to better understand the term progressive education and its current pertinence.

Keywords: Dewey, philosophy, progressivism, health instruction, physical education