American educator and philosopher John Dewey, 1859-1952, had a tremendous influence on America’s educational system in the 1900s. Dewey was perceived as a pioneer of change in his attempt to implement progressive education. Dewey accomplished extraordinary strides in the American education system by designing more interactive classrooms in order to benefit teachers and students. Dewey viewed people as social animals who learned though social interaction with others. Learning increases because the content paid attention to has meaning while book learning or inert knowledge, was not a substitute for learning.
Dewey suggested that knowledge is acquired and more effective when people apply previous knowledge gained from experiences into solving meaningful situations. Education in his eyes is almost a reconstruction of experience applied by using the scientific method. Intelligence is required in order to overcome situations where there are obstacles present. These challenges can be completed through the use of training and experience.
In the 1900s, Dewey worked in New York City at Columbia University, teaching there for over twenty years and later becoming the President of the American Philosophical Association in 1905. Dewey published works such as The Child and the Curriculum and The Educational Situation in 1902, and Schools of To-Morrow by John and Evelyn Dewey in 1915. In 1916, John Dewey authored a powerful book written within the framework of education’s role in fulfilling the needs of society. The book entitled Democracy and Education defined democracy as a way of defining culture.
Dewey speculated that certain societies that are complex needed a differen...
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...d on the experiences, interests, and abilities of the students within the educational system. If teachers could implement material that arouses stimulation in order to encourage students to a higher degree of learning, students may develop an innate ability to seek higher knowledge. At the time of this new industrial society, progressivists believed that education should not merely serve as a preparation tool to transition children to their adult lives, but ultimately shape their knowledge to benefit themselves and the society in which they live. Dewey strove to eliminate society’s entrenched thinking that authoritarianism and rote regurgitation of irrelevant information are useful methods of teaching.
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