John Dewey And Traditional Education

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Finding a happy medium between the two factions of education, the long standing practice of traditional education through absorption and the no rules no walls free spirited actions of progressive education, was exactly the goal of John Dewey and what he considers the educative process. A philosopher, psychologist and reformer, Dewey proposed that children learn best through the action of hands on learning and communication. For him all education stems from experience and the lens in which that the experience is seen. Being the key to the transmission of knowledge between people, experiences vary by person and situation and are thus not all educational. Rather, they must be unique in order for something to be learned. An apple falling from a tree on one’s head today would most likely be seen as annoying and would be given little thought. However, a similar apple falling upon Sir Isaac Newton’s head in 1684 would have led to the theory of gravity. Education through experience is all relative to the learner. Along with that, experience must lead to growth and not just any growth, but positive growth for growth just for the sake of growth is futile. Though a bank robber may be better off after robbing a bank and learning from his mistakes and experiences, Dewey believes that true meaningful growth is when the individual presses towards becoming a better person in society so that as we grow we learn and as we learn we grow. Even today people struggle to wrap their minds around the idea of education outside the walls of a classroom and school. However, Dewey is not trying to rid the world of the mold of a school, rather he is simply trying to change the way we look at how we learn and by doing so chance the way we teach. For the teache... ... middle of paper ... democracy and the educative process we are able to change and adapt together. There is no doubt that our country would be in a different place and possibly not even exist today if it had not been for slavery. However, it was through democratic acts that we as a country no longer saw slavery as truth and were able to adjust. Along the way there were individuals who made choices that impacted those around them and were able to foster change. Change, growth and learning are all obtainable through Dewey’s view. He wants for everyone to take a step back and not look at aims by themselves but rather at where they stem from. True aims of education and true aims of democracy both derive from the very nature of their realms. To Dewey everyone has the capacity of being a philosopher through action and it is from those actions that we are able to truly learn how to grow.
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