john dewey theory of education

John Dewey’s Theories of Education Written: 1960 Source: International Socialist Review , Vol. 21, No. 1, Winter 1960. Transcription/Editing: 2005 by Daniel Gaido HTML Markup: 2005 by David

john dewey theory of education

[First of a series of two. Next: “What Happened to Dewey’s Theories?”]
The Progressive Education Association, inspired by Dewey’s ideas, later codified his doctrines as follows:

In 1930, Dewey left Columbia and retired from his teaching career with the title of professor emeritus. His wife, Harriet, had died three years earlier.
Dewey’s philosophy also claimed than man behaved out of habit and that change often led to unexpected outcomes. As man struggled to understand the results of change, he was forced to think creatively in order to resume control of his shifting environment. For Dewey, thought was the means through which man came to understand and connect with the world around him. A universal education was the key to teaching people how to abandon their habits and think creatively.

John dewey theory of education
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What do you think? Are you familiar with the explanation of the John Dewey theory? Which elements of his contributions do you recognise in everyday life? Which other great thinkers preceded Dewey in his vision? How do you think the educational system would have developed if thinkers like Dewey hadn’t shared their vision?

Dewey’s proposed method—the experiential starting point—is not just another philosophical “move”, but a radical attempt to philosophize from what Ortega y Gasset calls “the shaken confines of our own life” and what Douglas Browning calls “bedrock” (Ortega y Gasset 1957: 40; Browning 1998: 74). [14] Dewey wrote,
The interactional, organic model Dewey developed in his psychology informed his theories of learning and knowledge. Given this new ecological framework, a range of traditional epistemological proposals and puzzles (premised on metaphysical divisions such as appearance/reality, mind/world) lost credibility. “So far as the question of the relation of the self to known objects is concerned”, Dewey wrote, “knowing is but one special case of the agent-patient, of the behaver-enjoyer-sufferer situation” (“Brief Studies in Realism”, MW6: 120). As we have already seen in psychology, Dewey’s wholesale repudiation of the tradition’s basic metaphysical framework required extensive reconstructions in every other area; one popular name for Dewey’s reconstruction of epistemology (or “theory of inquiry”, as Dewey preferred to call it) was “instrumentalism”. [22]

John dewey theory of education
The Dewey School (1898-1948): The School as a Cooperative Society
Equally important to the philosophy of the Dewey School was that learning occurred within a community setting. Dewey (1900) stated that a school as an embryonic community life that will reflect the life of the larger society. Dewey elaborated on this belief by stating that the embryonic community will in turn produce citizens that can improve the larger society by making it worthy, lively, and harmonious. Thus, in the Dewey School, a major goal of education was its social purpose. This social purpose guided the process of having children learn to work cooperatively together to achieve common goals.