“Education is life itself…”
John Dewey and Theory of inquiry
• About Dewey
• Your Warm up Discussion
• What I have found
• Discussion and present my experience activity
• Your Activity
Life & Education
October, 1859 - June, 1952 (92 years!)
Ph.D. in philosophy
Issues of his time: Urban shift, manufacturing,
Industrial economy, corporatization, stratification of
classes, European immigrations, Civil war, Nuclear
Areas of Interest: Philosophy, Experimental
Johann Pestalozzi- learn by doing
Fredrick Froebel- play based learning
At the turn-of-the-century classrooms and education
were teacher centered; learning took place in the form of
lecture and reading, and students were expected to
memorize and regurgitate information orally or in writing.
• What is the purpose of education?
Social, Individual, etc.
• How does education contribute to a functioning
• How are knowledge and skills acquired?
What we know
Reconstruction- Education as a Science
Pragmatism- what works for society, for the public good
Progressive Movement- Merge kinder with primary,…What are some
effects, implications, drawbacks? Who were the Progressives?-WAM
Project Approach (aka Project Based learning)- integrated curriculum
through “real” experiences
Experiential Learning- Interaction with environment, communication,
Environment, Experience, Democracy, Diversity
Inquiry and Scientific method- problem, need for solution/change,
hypothesized action, action, experience, reflection, learning
– “Continuous Reconstruction of Experience”
(Branscombe, Castle, Dorsey, Surbec, Taylor, 2000)
– Childrens interests, active experiences, integrated
curriculum (Early Childhood Today, 2000)
– Attention to societal and cultural aspects of
education (Hohr, 2012)
Some aspects of Theory
Guidelines from Dewey
• Students learn by experimenting and exploring
• They are part of a social group and learn to help
• They creatively solve problems
• Teachers build in children's strengths in a child
(DePencier and Harms, 1996)
Some of his relevant well-known works are:
How We Think 1910, Democracy In Education
1916, Experience And Education 1938,
Reconstruction in Philosophy 1920, Experience
and Nature 1925, The Public and its Problems
Testing the Theory
• Laboratory Schools- University of Chicago
– January, 1986
– Study children’s growth and development
– Create Pedagogy on a Scientific Basis
– Challenge current methods and ideas
– Extension of life at home
– Create a cooperative community
• Though he attempted to promote a
democratic world, through education, was the
progressive movement an “armchair
revolution?” (Shyman, 2010)
• Where are the cultural issues?
– Compared with Freire-social action and political
action, liberation, “transfer hope from teacher to
pupil,” (Shyman, 2010).
• Think about an experience that you could
build activities and projects around.
• Include Aspects that enhance social
development and honor diversity.
• Choose age range
• Integrate opportunities for enhancing
development in all domains
In Practice Today
• Reconstruct work of theorists, for our current
contexts (Neubert, 2009) - present needs,
social issues, challenges
What is the public good?
Harms, W., & DePencier, I. (1996). Experiencing Education, Chapter One. Retrieved from The
University of Chicago, Laboratory Schools:
Hohr, H. (2013). The Concept of Experience by John Dewey Revisited: Conceiving, Feeling and
"Enliving". Studies In Philosophy And Education, 32(1), 25-38.
Neubert, S. (2009). Reconstructing Deweyan Pragmatism: A Review Essay. Educational Theory.
Shyman, E. (2011). A Comparison of the Concepts of Democracy and Experience in a Sample of
Major Works by Dewey and Freire. Educational Philosophy And Theory, 43(10), 1035 1046.