John Dewey, born 20 October 1859 in Burlington in Vermont, died 1 June 1952 in New York City in New York, was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educator.
John Dewey is primarily known as proponent of pragmatism. Dewey coined the concept of “learning by doing,” which is an activity of learning where theory, practice, reflection, and action are linked. Knowledge must be of benefit and have reality. Dewey is reckoned among the most progressive educational theorists (who is closely associated with socialism) and is called the functional psychology’s father.
From research papers on John Dewey you may now that he was born in 1859 in Vermont, USA. His family were farmers since several generations. The father broke though this trend and settled himself in to business, which led to Dewey quickly got into the academic course. He started to teach at a high school at age 21 but resigned in favor of studying.
In 1882, he began graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, this followed a long and extensive academic career: in 1889 he was hired as a professor at the University of Michigan after five year he moved to the University of Chicago where he led the Department of Philosophy, psychology and education, and in 1904 he went on to Columbia University where he became emeritus in 1930. Dewey worked up to the age of 80, when he finally went into retirement entirely. Between 1899 and 1900, Dewey was the president of the American Psychological Association and the (1911) American Philosophical Association. Between 1919 and 1921 he made lecture trips to Japan and China, in 1928, he made an inspection trip to schools in the Soviet Union.
Unlike many contemporary scholars, Dewey engaged in social life outside academia. Among other things, he founded in 1896 an experimental school with his wife, Alice Chipman Dewey. The school became one of the most talked about at the time. Dewey was one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union and the China Institute in America. In the mid-1930s, he participated in a commission to investigate the charges against Leon Trotsky in the so-called Moscow Trials; in 1940, he worked for Bertrand Russell would not be excluded from New York’s teaching staff. Besides numerous articles and books, Dewey frequently wrote comments in journals such as The New Republic and The Nation. Despite retirement Dewey remained productive until his death on June 1st 1952, when he was 92 years old.
In his Democracy and Education, Dewey tries to pick up where Plato and Rousseau quit, and find a way to democratize the education system, this by putting these theories together with e.g., Lev Vygotsky. Dewey criticizes Rousseau for being too individualistic, and Plato for being too focused on the collective. Dewey received well-aimed distinction between the individual’s and society’s, and said that there is a reciprocal relationship, where the two develop together, that there is no real contradiction between the terms, and that they are not fully separable from each other. In later works, he would admit that certain individual mental processes could have consequences for society at large, and therefore could be seen as superior.
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