John Dewey And Progressive Education

1766 Words Nov 15th, 2015 8 Pages
John Dewey and Progressive Education
One of the most vitalizing and dominant thinkers in American education was John Dewey (1859-1952). His philosophy of pragmatism was central to the progressive education movement, which emphasizes the need to learn by doing. Progressive education is a vital part of a successful democracy because it encourages citizens to think for themselves. Dewey believed that there was a direct link between education and social action in a democracy and that school should provide young learners with the foundation they need to make meaningful contributions to our society.
Dewey declared that the key ethical imperative in education was democracy. Every school must become "an embryonic community life, active with types of occupations that reflect the life of the larger society and permeated throughout with the spirit of art, history and science. When the school introduces and trains each child of society into membership within such a little community, saturating him with the spirit of service, and providing him with instruments of effective self-direction, we shall have the deepest and best guarantee of a larger society which is worthy, lovely and harmonious" (Dewey, 1915). Teachers should try to create a learning community that gives students real-life experiences, tasks, and challenges which will in turn, foster their capacity to contribute to a much larger society.
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