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John Dewey






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John Dewey. “The Need for a Philosophy of Education.”. Objectives: How does Dewey view the nature of the child and the nature of learning? Understand the transaction between the child’s instincts and experiences and the environment according to Dewey.
John Dewey

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Slide 1

John Dewey

“The Need for a Philosophy of Education.”

Slide 2

Objectives:

How does Dewey view the nature of the child and the nature of learning?

Understand the transaction between the child’s instincts and experiences and the environment according to Dewey.

What does Dewey find problematic with traditional schooling?

What is the role or function of the teacher, according to Dewey?

For Dewey, how are democracy, society, and education linked?

Slide 3

John Dewey

  • Education is a social process; education is growth; education is not a preparation for life but is life itself.

Slide 4

Dewey’s Early CV

􀂄 Education

– Completed high school in 3 years

– Attended University of Vermont in 1875 at 16 years old

– Explored topics of political, social, and moral philosophy

– Graduated from the University of Vermont in 1879

􀂄 Teaching Experience

– 1879: 1st job as a high school teacher in Oil City, Pennsylvania

– 1881: High School teacher while continuing study of philosophy in Vermont

􀂄 Graduate Studies

– 1882: Johns Hopkins University graduate program in philosophy

– 1884: Ph.D. with dissertation topic “The Psychology of Kant”

Slide 5

Professional Career

􀂄 Positions Held

– (1884) Michigan

􀂄 Instructor of Philosophy

– (1888) University of Minnesota

􀂄 Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy

– (1889) Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Michigan

– (1894) University of Chicago

– (1904) Resigned from the University of Chicago,

& joined Columbia University

– (1930) End of teaching career

– (1939) Retirement from University activities

Slide 6

JOHN DEWEY

  • How does he view the nature of the child and the nature of learning?

  • Nature of the child: curious, social, constructive, expressive

Slide 7

“Experiential learning takes place

when a person involved in an activity

looks back and evaluates it,

determines what was useful or important to remember,

and uses this information to perform another activity.”

John Dewey

Slide 8

  • “The Need for a Philosophy of Education”

  • Philosophy needs to define what education is, moreover, any “ideal that is a genuine help in carrying on activity must rest upon a prior knowledge of concrete actual occurrences”

  • - Education is “a process of development”, but it is a “directed growth,” which is meant to be directed by educators

  • - all students are different from one another and will not learn in one standard, uniform way

Slide 9

“The Need for a Philosophy of Education”

  • the student possesses, inherently, the “raw material and the starting-point of growth”, however, “the environing conditions to be furnished by the educator are the indispensable means of their development”

  • thus educators must modify environment to provide direction of student growth

  • each student possesses innate possibilities and properties for growth and, as such, an ideal education is characterized by continual growth

Slide 10

  • “The Need for a Philosophy of Education”

  • “the educational end and the ultimate test of the value of what is learned (in the method described above) is its use and application in carrying on and improving the common life of all”

  • thus, by experiencing growth in education in a democratic environment, students will learn how to reform society

Slide 11

“The Need for a Philosophy of Education”

  • Dewey wants to make individuals more capable of self-support, but he also stresses connections and commitments to others.

  • Schools should not just use activities, but select activities that connect to democratic life, the classroom as a community.

  • Education is a process of development, an educated person has the power to go on and get more education, to grow. Grow like a seed? [Not exactly.] Not as deterministically, as say a tree. Humans have great potential to grow in many directions. The environment for growth matters. Traditional schools fail to recognize the diversity of capacities, the need to initiate growth must come from the needs and powers of the pupil (not a blank slate, not teacher-centered). (Need for a Philosophy of Education, Dewey, 1934)

Slide 12

“The Need for a Philosophy of Education”

Toward “more effective techniques, greater self-reliance, a more thoughtful and inquiring disposition more capable of persistent effort in meeting obstacles.” EXPERIENCE A PROBLEM, TRY TO SOLVE IT.

Dewey wants to connect interest (NATURE OF THE CHILD: CURIOUS, EXPRESSIVE, SOCIAL, AND CONSTRUCTIVE) and effort (motivate students to SOLVE PROBLEMS, ANSWER QUESTIONS)? If successful, it leads to the student-curriculum integration that Dewey desires. KNOWLEDGE THAT IS USEFUL, that supports further growth and expansion of interests.

Does Dewey provide a clear vision of the ideal democratic society?

“For education to be most successful, it is necessary that people participate in democratic forms of life.”

“A society of free individuals in which all, doing each his own work, contribute to the liberation and enrichment ofthe lives of others is the only environment for the normal growth to full stature.” (“Need for a Philosophy ofEducation” Dewey, 1934)

Slide 13

“The Need for a Philosophy of Education”

  • What does he reject about traditional education?

  • Dewey believes that faculty psychology, behaviorism, and teacher-centered approaches to curriculum do not capture the correct psychology of learning.

  • He rejects the idea that rote learning and memorization are “learning”.

  • “The educational center of gravity has been too long in the teacher, the textbook, anywhere and everywhere except in the immediate instincts and activities of the child himself.”

  • Schools should not be “static in subject matter, authoritarian in methods, and mainly passive.”

  • Dewey fears that society and traditional schooling are promoting: Selfish, egoistic, competitive views where we learn to “outwit others and get on” for ourselves…

Slide 14

Objectives:

How does Dewey view the nature of the child and the nature of learning?

Understand the transaction between the child’s instincts and experiences and the environment according to Dewey.

What does Dewey find problematic with traditional schooling?

What is the role or function of the teacher, according to Dewey?

For Dewey, how are democracy, society, and education linked?


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