Get Adobe Flash player
COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Chapter 1 should encourage experimentation and independent thinking. These ideas, now quite common, were considered revolution- ary in Dewey’s day. Dewey’s Theories John Dewey wrote so many volumes on the philosophy and practice of education that an introductory text cannot begin to cover his contribution to our field. As a progressive educa- tor, he shared with Lev Vygotsky, Montessori, and Piaget the central ideas of that movement: education should be child centered; education must be both active and interactive; and education must involve the social world of the child and the community. In 1897 Dewey published his philosophy of edu- cation in a document called My Pedagogic Creed. Here’s what he said about education: “True education comes through the stimulation of the child’s powers by the demands of the social situ- ations in which he finds himself” (5). Dewey believed that children learn best when they interact with other people, working side by side and cooperatively with peers and adults. “The child’s own instincts and powers furnish the material and give the starting-point for all educa- tion” (6). According to Dewey, children’s interests form the basis for curriculum planning. He believed that the interests and background of each child and group must be considered when teachers plan learning experiences. “I believe that education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living” (8). Dewey believed that education is part of life. He believed that as long as people are alive, they are 16 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL