theory. Within two years he had established the famous
laboratory school that attracted attention around the world.
Dewey’s Laboratory School established the University of
Chicago as the center of thought on progressive education, the
movement toward more democratic and child-centered educa-
tion. Progressive education was a reaction to the rigid, more
formal style of traditional education during the nineteenth
century. It was considered genius by many and criticized as
too radical by others. Dewey’s involvement with the lab school
was relatively short-lived but created, in a few years, a wealth
of educational research and theory that continues to drive
many of our best practices today.
In 1904, arguing with administrators over education bud-
gets, Dewey resigned his position at the University of Chicago.
He took a post at Columbia University in New York City where
he continued to teach and write
for another four decades. Dewey
ewey has contributed
has contributed volumes of work to
volumes of work to
our knowledge base in educational
our knowledge base in
psychology and theory. Much of his
work is as relevant to the struggles of
educators in the United States today
as it was nearly a half century ago.
His writings cover a broad range of topics relevant to teaching.
Dewey continued writing and revising manuscripts until his
death in 1952 at the age of ninety-three.
In 1899 John Dewey gave a talk to the parents of children
in his school. The parents were worried about the changing
times. On the edge of the industrial age, these parents of one
hundred years ago were old enough to remember the “agri-
cultural era” in the United States. They remembered when
children were educated at home by watching their parents do
meaningful work. They thought the new generation lacked
character and values. Dewey agreed with parents that the