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Doing Dewey in the Digital Age. Ravyn Wilson-Bernard Kristy Shuda McGuire Ruth Baker Community College of Philadelphia. Members of our Faculty Learning Community (FLC). Ravyn Wilson-Bernard Instructor, English Department Kristy Shuda McGuire Assistant Professor, Biology Department

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doing dewey in the digital age
Doing Dewey in the Digital Age

Ravyn Wilson-Bernard

Kristy Shuda McGuire

Ruth Baker

Community College of Philadelphia

members of our faculty learning community flc
Members of ourFaculty Learning Community (FLC)
  • Ravyn Wilson-Bernard

Instructor, English Department

  • Kristy Shuda McGuire

Assistant Professor, Biology Department

  • Ruth Baker

Assistant Professor, Library

Part I:The Problem of Training Thought

Chapter IV. “School Conditions and the Training of Thought”

“It’s the condition our condition is in.”Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

1. “the mental attitudes and habits of the persons with whom the child is in contact;

2. the subjects studied;

3. current educational aims and ideals”

(Dewey 46,47)

Mental Attitudes and Habits

“Most people are quite unaware of the distinguishing peculiarities of their own mental habit. They take their own mental operations for granted, and unconsciously make them the standard for judging the mental processes of others.”

(Dewey 48)


“In school, amassing information always tends to escape from the ideal of wisdom or good judgment . . . ‘Covering the ground’ is the primary necessity; the nurture of mind a bad second.”

(Dewey 52)

Educational Aims and Ideals

“In instruction, the external standard manifests itself in the importance attached to the ‘correct answer.’ No one other thing, probably, works so fatally against focusing the attention of teachers upon the training of mind as the domination of their minds by the idea that the chief thing is to get pupils to recite their lessons correctly.”

(Dewey 53)


“Education that takes as its standard the

improvement of the intellectual attitude and method

of students demands more serious preparatory

training, for it exacts sympathetic and intelligent

insight into the workings of individual minds, and a

very wide and flexible command of subject

matter—so as to be able to select and apply just

what is needed when it is needed.”

(Dewey 54)

Part II: Logical Considerations

Chapter VI. “The Analysis of a Complete Act of Thought”

five distinctive steps in reflection
“Five distinctive steps in reflection”

1. “a felt difficulty”

2. “its location and definition”

3. “suggestion of possible


4. “development by reasoning of the bearings of the suggestion”

5. “further observation and experiment leading to its acceptance or rejection; that is, the conclusion of belief or disbelief”

(Dewey 72)

(Hoefnagels 11)


“The problem is the

discovery of

intervening terms

which when inserted

between the remoter

end and the given

means will harmonize

them with each


(Dewey 72)


“Occurrence of a suggested explanation

or possible solution”

(Dewey 75)


“The development of an idea through

reasoning helps at least to supply the

intervening or intermediate terms that link

together into a consistent whole apparently

discrepant extremes.”

(Dewey 76)


“The concluding and

conclusive step is

some kind of


corroboration, or

verification, of the

conjectural idea.”

(Dewey 77)

summar y

“The trained mind is the one that best

grasps the degree of observation, forming

of ideas, reasoning, and experimental testing

required in any special case, and that profits

the most, in future thinking, by mistakes

made in the past.”

(Dewey 78)

Part III: The Training of Thought

Chapter XI. “Empirical and Scientific Thinking”

Chapter XII. “Activity and the Training of Thought”

dewey s constructivism
Dewey's Constructivism
  • Experience/Empirical Observation
  • Social Interaction
  • Puzzlement/Curiosity
one minute dewey
One-Minute Dewey

"...experience also includes the reflection that sets us free from the limiting influence of sense, appetite, and tradition." (Dewey 156)

“...the business of education might be defined emancipation and enlargement of experience.” (Dewey 156)

"The attitude of childhood is naive, wondering, experimental; the world of man and natures new.  Right methods of education preserve and perfect this attitude..." (Dewey 156)

"...useful work is not necessarily labor""...there's no contrast in doing things for utility and for fun." (Dewey 167)

“When one is doing something, one is compelled, if the work is to use eyes, ears, and sense of touch as guides to action.” (Dewey 188)

applying dewey to inquiry based learning savery 2006 coe 2001
Applying Dewey to Inquiry-based Learning(Savery 2006, Coe 2001)

The 5 Phases of Inquiry:

Engagement: Begins with curiosity or puzzlement and recognition of existing knowledge

Exploration: Students gain expertise and experience in identifying/addressing a problem in groups and are, individually, responsible for their own learning

- Use active learning: questioning, critical thinking, and problem-solving

Explanation: Investigate alternative solutions

-Active, conscious thought and comprehension is achieved through use of curiosity, observation, reading, reciting and discussion (social learning)

Elaboration: Create new knowledge as information is gathered and understood

Evaluation: Reflect on new knowledge to form solution(s)

  • Recognize that there is no single “correct” answer
  • Action on a solution (implement a plan)
your turn
Your Turn!
  • Yellow Group

Ravyn Wilson-Bernard

  • Green Group

Kristy Shuda McGuire

  • Blue Group

Ruth L. Baker

reflections on your experience in an flc
Reflections on Your Experiencein an FLC
  • Yellow Group

Ravyn Wilson-Bernard

  • Green Group

Kristy Shuda McGuire

  • Blue Group

Ruth L. Baker

collaboration and sharing in an flc
Collaboration and Sharing in an FLC

Bringing Dewey into the Digital Age with LibGuides:

- Collect information for ongoing research

- Share information in a Social Media space

- Collaborate with other faculty or students