directions: Does education exist for children, or do children
exist for education? Today, as a century ago, this question
is worthy of our discussion. Dewey’s theory remains a clear
guide to this debate.
1. Progressive education has been called many different
things. What are some of the misconceptions about it? Give a
brief explanation that summarizes Dewey’s ideas about pro-
2. Today one common curriculum model is emergent curricu-
lum, or planning curriculum around what emerges from the
children’s interests and experience. Is this consistent or incon-
sistent with Dewey’s idea about education? Why?
3. Many families want an overtly structured environment for
their children and feel anxious if they think that the children
play too much. Using Dewey’s ideas, prepare a response for
families that illustrates the learning structure behind your
program. Suggestions for Further Reading
Dalton, Thomas C. 2002. Becoming John Dewey: Dilemmas of a
Philosopher and Naturalist. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University
Press. Dewey, John, and Evelyn Dewey. 1915. School of Tomorrow. New
York: E. P. Dutton.
Johnston, James Scott. 2006. Inquiry and Education: John Dewey
and The Quest for Democracy. New York: State University of New
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