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Educational Philosophy of John Dewey Essay

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The Educational Philosophy of John Dewey John Dewey is known as leader of the progressive movement in the history of the American education system and his book, Democracy and Education: an introduction to the philosophy of education, could be used as a textbook to teach the foundations of the movement. Discrediting all previous educational and philosophic approaches as intellectually incomplete or inaccurate, Dewey first presents a new perspective on the nature of knowledge, education, society and philosophy. One fundamental theme of Dewey’s progressive movement is that education is growth and that growth is, in and of itself, the objective. Rejecting any notion of innate knowledge or of an ideal goal to strive for, the progressive…show more content…
Societies can be, by definition, small associations of like minded individuals with narrow aims or large nations with broad, diverse aims. Dewey offers two standards which can be applied to assess the value of a society: How numerous and varied are the interests which are consciously shared? How full and free is the interplay with other forms of association? By applying these two questions, the natural conclusion of the ideal society is democratic, that is to say one that offers its citizens the freedom of expression and communication. If a democracy represents an ideal society that presents the maximum number of common interests and the maximum opportunities for association with other societies, then it also represents the ideal society in its potential for growth. Any society with a near limitless potential for growth must redefine the concept of knowledge in order to gain efficiencies in its education system. Previous attempts at defining knowledge were flawed, in the mind of the Progressivist, by directly stating or implying a division or duality that presents a barrier to free intercourse of ideas. Examples of these dualities are that of different classes within a society such as rich vs poor, noble vs lower class, ruler vs ruled or that of the physical vs metaphysical worlds. Any duality serves to separate knowledge from action, a continuity which is proclaimed as ideal. Any piece of
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