John Dewey and Education Research Papers
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Rarely is there an educator that sets such precedence in the field of education. John Dewey first became interested in the reform of educational theory and practice during his tenure at Chicago. He is credited as being one of the founders of pragmatism, a pioneer in functional psychology, and a leader of the progressive movement in U.S. education. One of the tools of Dewey’s success was the manner in which he thought of education. He did not merely see it as a means to an end that students survived through but, he believed that democracy (in the classroom) provided citizens with the opportunity for maximum experimentation and personal growth. John Dewey’s practical education methods have impacted the American (and international) education system in many ways. His impact manifests itself most in his educational legacy.
- Name: John Dewey
- Birth: October 20, 1859
- Death: June 2, 1952
- In 1894 while beginning his career at the University of Chicago, Dewey developed his empirically based theory of knowledge known as pragmatism.
- While at Columbia University between the years of 1904 and 1914, Dewey developed his theories on knowledge and metaphysicsy.
Keyword of Contribution: epistemolog
- Psychology (1887)
- Leibniz's New Essays Concerning the Human Understanding (1888)
- Studies in Logical Theory (1903)
- The School and Society (1899)
- The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy and Other Essays in Contemporary Thought (1910)
- Essays in Experimental Logic (1916)
- How We Think (1910; revised ed. 1933)
- Democracy and Education (1916)
- Logic: The Theory of Inquiry in 1938; Art as Experience (1934)
- A Common Faith (1934)
- Freedom and Culture (1939)
- Theory of Valuation (1939)
- Knowing and the Known (1949)
Schools of Thought: Dewey’s most prominent influences came from the teaching of G.H. Perkins and a text by T.H. Huxley, Lessons in Elementary Physiology. George Sylvester Morris, a German-trained Hegelian philosopher and G. Stanley Hall, an experimental psychologist greatly influenced Dewey’s work. Dewey is said to be either NeoKantian or Postmodern.
Summary of Contributions: The central focus of Dewey's philosophical interests throughout his works is known as "epistemology," or the "theory of knowledge.” It not only shaped his theory of metaphysics but also his ethical and social theories.
Antecedent Movements: Hegel’s themes of reconstruction and reconciliation dominate much of Dewey’s work as well as Kant’s philosophies.
Opponents of Contribution: Realists had the most trouble with Dewey’s work. Most notably:
- Bertrand Russell
- A. O. Lovejoy
- Evander Bradley McGilvery
Apostles, Disciples, Contributors: Dewey’s foremost adherents was Richard Rorty. Rorty, in his own right became a preeminent postmodern philosopher.
How Contribution Affects Curriculum Today:
Dewey’s works, Democracy and Education, and How We Think and Experience and Education elucidate Dewey's understanding of the fundamental nature of life as experience, and how this can be applied to the educative process. Although much of Dewey’s work is not utilized directly today, the fundamental concepts developed by Dewey are often discussed in theory.