Who is John Dewey?An American philosopher,psychologist, and educationalreformer whose ideas havebeen influential in educationand social reform
What Did Dewey Believe?• Dewey had huge ideas starting from the turn of the century until his death in 1952.• He considered two fundamental elements - schools and civil societies - as major topics that needed attention and reconstruction.• He hoped to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality in schools.• This is why a lot of his theory is focused on the impact students will have on society as a result of their education.
What was John Dewey Saying? If you had difficultly reading Democracy and Education, you weren’t alone. Here is a quick video summarizing his position:
Transmission of EducationLife is a self-renewing process through the action upon the environment.Through the communication of education human-beings acquire thenecessary abilities to survive.Education reproduces life and allows man to join society.Community forms in things men have in common through: • ASPIRATIONS • COMMON UNDERSTANDING • BELIEFS • KNOWLEDGE • AIMSHowever, schools are only one meansof transmission.
To make it simple… Dewey had some general ideas:• Good Education = Societal Purpose + Purpose for the Individual When students receive a good education, it is good for them AND the well-being of society. The long-term goals are really important but the value of short-term quality in an educational experience should also be appreciated.
To make it simple… (continued) Educators are responsible for providing students with experiences that are “immediately valuable.” Student experiences are important!!! While it is the student’s job to acquire the knowledge, teachers have a greater responsibility to make the material relatable instantly. Mannplaces a HUGE emphasis on student experiences and how those experiences should impact their learning and how that knowledge will impact society.
To make it simple… (continued)Schools are ONLY one method of transmission! According to Dewey “Only as we have grasped the necessity of more fundamental and persistent modes of tuition can we make sure of placing the scholastic methods in their true context” Basic resources have to be learned first. Children have to be enabled to share in common life to be part of a social life – “process of living together educates.” "Seek first to understand, then to be understood,“ recommends Stephen Covey (1990). Refer to the first three paragraphs Formal education then becomes necessary to transmit all the resources and achievements of society.
Skills Learned at Skills Learned at Home School The Four C’s • Social: learn to share• Confidence • Emotional: self-esteem grows • Physical: improve motor skills• Cooperation • Intellectual• Curiosity • Language• Communication • Imagination
Good So Far?Here’s a video of Dewey explaining his viewon education to a fellow teacher
Dewey’s Pedagogic CreedThis text is quite long but you should at leastskim through (or read the first fewsentences of each paragraph) toget an idea of how John Deweybelieved education should be:
Two Extremes in EducationDewey argued that there were only two approaches toteaching: Traditional vs. Progressive
Traditional Education “Traditional education would just funnel the knowledge accumulated through history into the studentthrough books and instruction from a teacher without connecting the past to the reality of the student” - John Dewey
Traditional = DidacticAs we all know:• Traditional education lacks holistic understanding of the student• Can be too structured• Tends to be focused on discipline.• Students memorize the textbook and other information.• There is little assessment for enduring understanding.
If all instruction is traditional…There is little room forcreativity or originality. All students are the same and areexpected to learn the same.
Progressive = Freedom Is this view too reactionary? According to Dewey, Progressive education Will it take away is: from the power of teachers? -Unstructured Should we allow -Flexible students to question presented-STUDENT DIRECTED material?
Education as a Social Function• Dewey defines education as “the process of leading or bringing up and is thus a fostering, nurturing, and cultivating process.”• Our environment affects our activities and makes us adapt to our surroundings.• A person has a social environment by associating their activities with others.
Training vs. Educative Teaching Immature humans are being trained like animals instead of being educated! Human beings in sense have the ability to control (train) their environment Dewey used the example of a burnt child who dreads fire. If a parent controls (train) the condition so that every time a child touched a certain toy he got burned the child would learn to automatically avoid that toy
In order for students to get a real education… • We need to focus on content and process. • In order to do this, teachers must understand the nature of human experience.
Dewey wrote, "It is a cardinal precept of the newerschool of education that the beginning of instructionshall be made with the experience learners alreadyhave; that this experience and the capacities thathave been developed during its course provide thestarting point for all further learningEducators should focus their curriculum on theirpresent situation as a basis for lessonsThe teacher should set focus on helping a studentdevelop their purpose
As societies become larger and more complex, the needfor formal teaching becomes a necessary"The way out of scholastic systems that made the past anend in itself is to make acquaintance with the past a meansof understanding the present" (Dewey)This past knowledge that is to be brought into the minds ofstudents should only be done if it is actually relevant to thestudents present situation.Communication through education therefore needs to bemore directly associated with the experiences a child hasalready gained
Do Student Experiences Count? Of course they do! But how, might you ask?First we need to look at how students have experiences.“Experience arises from the interaction of two principles- Continuity and Interaction”
But Remember, No Past Experience has a Preordained Value. A rewarding experience for one individual might be damaging for another-- this all depends on how it affects their present future AND how they can use that experience to contribute to society“The belief that all genuine education comes aboutthrough experiences does not mean that all experiences aregenuinely or equally educative”- John Dewey
Continuity Interaction Situational influences onEach experience a person has one’s experienceswill influence his/her future forbetter or for worse “One’s present experience is a function of the interaction between one’s past experiences and the present situation.” There should be a subjective quality of students experiences-We as teachers should understand students so we can “design a sequence ofliberating education experiences” that give individuals an opportunity to fulfill their potential as a productive member of society