john dewey theory on play in early childhood education
John Dewey had a significant influence upon today’s preschools. When the subprimary class at the University of Chicago Laboratory School opened in 1896, it was for children aged four to six years and based upon Friedrich Froebel’s original system. It was not called a kindergarten because many American kindergartens had adopted structured activities and abstract symbolism during the previous two decades. Dewey credited Froebel with recognizing that individuals are coordinated units from birth onward, taking in experiences from the outer world, organizing them, and relating them to their inner life. His vision of this laboratory class for young children was to test the validity of using activities related to home and community-oriented themes. He took an active role in the kindergarten and child study associations and was elected president of the National Kindergarten Association (1913-1914).
Dewey, John (1859-1952)
- Starting each day by gathering children for a group meeting, where the development of language skills is an inevitable outcome.
- Planning cooking activities in which children learn important math skills in the process.
- Taking a nature walk for a hands-on exploration of important science concepts.
This article originally appeared in the October, 2000 issue of Early Childhood Today.
Thanks to Anglia Ruskin University Research and Innovation Development Office for a Research Funding Observatory bursary that enabled the author to attend the conference John Dewey’s ‘Democracy and Education’ 100 Years On: Past, Present, and Future Relevance at Homerton College and Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.
In this article, the work of John Dewey is recontextualised and proposed as a basis for contemporary early childhood education for sustainability (ECEfS). Five key themes are explored: experiential learning; curiosity and critical thinking; children’s experiences in nature; democracy and participation and classroom as community. In each case, claims are made through aligning the work of Dewey with exemplars from current early childhood practice. The focus is reflection upon the educator as facilitator of dynamic interactions between the learner and her/his experiences, fostering individual growth, influencing social change and, thus, creating possibilities for implementation of ECEfS within early years classrooms.
For Dewey, it’s not enough for something to be fun and to be interesting. It’s got to have a purpose, it’s got to stretch you mentally, and it has to leave you wanting more.
Today is all about John Dewey. If you’re pretty much every parent who has no previous knowledge of child development than this name rings zero bells. He is not like Montessori who we know about from hearing it in social settings. He was a contemporary of Montessori and Piaget and Vygotsky though. Unlike those three who we’ve already covered, he wasn’t so concerned about child development. He was more concerned with Education. So his work wasn’t aimed at parents at all. It was aimed at teachers, but as parents, we can still take a lot away from it.
Influential Educators and Education Program By Whitney Holley-Newport Stephen F. Austin State University John Dewey It is important to know where the ideas of the way children learn came from. One educator that had a significant influence on education and the way the world teaches and learns is John Dewey. He had different, interesting, and new ideas for the development of children and teaching children in a classroom. John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist, and an
As a child, Dewey excelled as a student in public schools, then went on to study philosophy; graduating second in his class. While teaching at the universities, Dewey became fascinated with philosophical treatises and decided to expand focus in studying psychology and philosophy at John Hopkins. Although Dewey’s philosophical treatises were inspired by William James; George Sylvester Morris (American