John Dewey and the Contemporary New Zealand Education

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Dewey and the contemporary New Zealand education John Dewey was born in Burlington, Vermont, on 20 October 1859. He was an American psychologist who was grouped with Pierce and William James as founders of Pragmatism and supported the idea of pragmatism and was anti-foundational notion of knowledge. Dewey graduated from the University of Vermont in 1879, and received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1884. He then started teaching philosophy at the University of Michigan from 1884 and at this stage of life, he published extensively and he also built a laboratory school to experience his ideal schooling in reality. (Olson. 2005) This essay will firstly look at the two parts of Dewey’s critic of the traditional schooling and his ideal schooling. Secondly it will look at Dewey’s theory in two parts of possibilities and limitations in contrast to the contemporary education in New Zealand. Dewey criticised the traditional schooling and supported pragmatism. He argued that the traditional schooling disconnects the experiences and lives of children and it also disconnects from the practical activity. Traditional schooling disconnects the experiences and practical activity in sense that the school provided knowledge to students from the knowledge of others such as the teacher being a provider or the knowledge was delivered through sets of text books which was very formal and did not link to students’ previous experiences from home. Dewey (1940) stated “I believe that all education proceeds by the participation of the individual in the social consciousness of the race” (Dewey, 1940, p.8). However, this participation of individual and the lives and experience of students were not being processed and it limited child’s ability o... ... middle of paper ... ...p. 3-17) Dewey, J. (2000). “My pedagogic creed”: Article II-What the school is [extracts]. In R. F. Reed & T. W. Johnson (Eds.), Philosophical documents in education (2nd ed., pp. 94-115). New York: Longman. Noddings, N. (2007). The philosophical and educational thought of John Dewey. In Philosophy of education (2nd ed., pp. 23-41). Boulder, CO: Westview Press. NZQA. (2001). Explore the frame work. New Zealand Qualifications Authority. Retrieved May, 23, 2009, from http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/framework/explore/index.do Olson, S. (2005). John Dewey. Retrieved May 22, 2009, from http://johndewey.shawnolson.net/ Pring, R. (2007). Current problems and Dewey’s ’would-be response’. In John Dewey: A philosopher of education for our time? (pp.161-180 ). London: Continuum. Tanner, L. (1997). Dewey’s Laboratory School. New York, Colombia University: Teachers College Press

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