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John Dewey's Education

  • Date Submitted: 05/21/2012 06:18 AM
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John Dewey and Peace Education


Dewey remains one of America’s most preeminent philosophers and educational theorists. After World War I he applied his instrumentalism and progressive education ideas to the advancement of world peace. Dewey’s peace education was based on the view that teaching subjects like history and geography should be premised on the goal of promoting internationalism. His educational objective was to counter the philistine notion of patriotism and nationalism developed by individual nation-states which had been a basic cause of war.  


Born in Vermont on October 20, 1859 and later educated at the University of Vermont (A.B.) and Johns Hopkins (Ph.D.), John Dewey established himself as one of the leading philosophers in the field of pragmatism while teaching at the University of Chicago in the 1890s. The increasing dominance of evolutionary biology and psychology in his thinking led to the abandonment of the Hegelian theory of ideas and the acceptance of an instrumental theory of knowledge that conceived of ideas as tools or instruments in the solution of problems encountered in the environment. Prior to an appointment at Columbia University in 1904, moreover, Dewey’s writings on school and education gained him a widespread audience. In The School and Society (1899) and The Child and the Curriculum (1902), he argued that the educational process must be built upon the interest of the child, that it must provide opportunity for the interplay of thinking and doing in the child’s classroom experience, that schools should be organized as a miniature community, that the teacher should be a guide and co-worker with pupils rather than rigid taskmaster assigning a fixed set of lessons and recitations, and that the goal of education is the growth of the child. His crowning work, Democracy and Education (1916), solidified his reputation in the history of American education.

    But nothing prepared John Dewey for...


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