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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Chapter 1: John Dewey The fundamental issue is not of new versus old education nor of progressive against traditional education but a question of what anything whatever must be to be worthy of the name education. —John Dewey Biography J ohn D ewey is truly the American educator who has most influenced our thinking about education in the United States. He was born in Burlington, Vermont, in 1859. Dewey’s family had farmed in Vermont for three generations. He attended the University of Vermont, where he studied philosophy. In 1884 he received a PhD at Johns Hopkins University, which led to a teaching position at the University of Michigan. While serv- ing as a professor of philosophy there, he became friends with one of his students, Alice Chipman. They were married in 1886, and it was largely the influence of his wife that brought Dewey to the study of education. Chipman was interested in social problems and their relationship to education. Her inter- est was contagious, and soon she and Dewey were working together to determine the best ways to support the education of children in America. In 1894 they moved to the University of Chicago, where Dewey took a position teaching philosophy. He found the position desirable because it was intended that he blend the teaching of philosophy with both psychology and educational 13 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL