John teach at a private school there. When Dewey

John Dewey was a famous American philosopher that created progressivism in America and has now become very important in the U.S. educational system. He was one of the most significant educational philosophers of his time. He advanced many of the traditional method of education when it comes to learning. His ideas about education came from a type of pragmatism that he created, which was known as instrumentalism. This was the basis of  the progressive movement for schools. He is sometimes even referred to as the “father of American education” ( In the year of 1859, on October 20, John Dewey was born. He was born and raised in Burlington, Vermont. He is one of three siblings to Archibald and Lucina Dewey. John Dewey’s father had a similar passion for literature and was known to continually teach his children this during their childhood, so it is no surprise that John found a passion for it also. Archibald was the owner of a tobacco shop so John lived comfortably as a middle-class child. John and his siblings all attended public school and the University of Vermont. John graduated the university in 1879 and received a PhD from Johns Hopkins University five years later. When Dewey graduated Johns Hopkins, his cousin was nice enough to offer him a job teaching at a seminary in Pennsylvania. He got laid off though, when his cousin resigned as the principal. After being fired, Dewey returned to his home state of Vermont and and began to teach at a private school there. When Dewey found time alone, he read philosophical writings. Eventually, Dewey became passionate about philosophy and so Dewey quit teaching to study philosophy at Johns Hopkins. Some major influences is Dewey’s life were George Sylvester Morris and G. Stanley Hall, both of which were teachers. In 1884 he got a doctorate from Johns Hopkins. After that the University of Michigan offered Dewey a job as an assistant teacher. ( While in Michigan he met his wife Harriet Alice Chipman. They married in 1886. They had six children and even adopted another child. Two years later he left Michigan with his family to teach philosophy at the University of Minnesota. Less than a year later, they moved back to Michigan and taught for five more years. In 1894 Dewey became head of the philosophy department for the University of Chicago. Also in 1894 John and Harriet created an experimental primary school which they called the University Elementary School. The goal of this school was to test all of Dewey’s educational theories. Unfortunately, they stopped working when Harriet was fired. He stayed at the University of Chicago for ten years, even serving as the director of its school of Education. He then got an offer to work at Columbia University as a professor of Philosophy. In 1919, John Dewey, as well as some of his colleagues, created The New School for Social Research. It is a progressive, experimental school, which stressed the concept of ideas being freely shared. In 1930, Dewey left Columbia and retired with the title of professor emeritus. John Dewey died on June 1, 1952 from pneumonia at the age of 92. ( wrote more than a thousand pieces of writing in his lifetime. Some of those works include Psychology, Leibniz’s New Essays Concerning the Human Understanding, and  his most famous philosophical work, Experience and Nature. He wrote article in The New Republic that made him well known as a social commentator. He wrote about many topics such as psychology, philosophy, educational theory, culture, religion and politics. Dewey made many contributions to nearly every field and topic in philosophy and psychology. Dewey is arguably one of the greatest thinkers of this or any age on the subjects of philosophy of mind,  philosophy of science, and social and political theory. ( of Dewey’s theories include progressivism which in today’s culture is known as “hands-on learning”. From Dewey’s point of view, students need to interact with their environment in order to learn and adapt and should be allowed to explore their environments. He also believed in interdisciplinary curriculum which tries to connect multiple subjects based on the interests of the child. In this situation the teacher would become more of a facilitator and not an instructor. The teacher may give background information to a subject, but one would see more of students working in groups and exploring new ideas together. The students were more likely to learn and grow if they were invested in the curriculum and the curriculum should be relevant to the lives of the students. ( Another theory is the theory of education which, according to Dewey, is an experience where one can make a connection between what we do to things the result of that action. An example of this would be if a child touches a flame and experiences pain, it is considered an educative experience only if the child understands that if one touches the flame, they will experience pain in return. This is a natural form of learning by experiencing the world, rather than being lectured on it. To Dewey, learning is the result of personal experience. Dewey did not believe that schools taught in the best possible way. They only teach using facts and textbooks. This method of teaching causes the students to quickly forget everything they had just learned after the test or exam. This particular theory goes hand in hand with the theory of experiential learning. To give an example, there are two people who have a map of unknown territory. There is an explorer who discovers all the terrain and experiences the land first hand. When he returns, he has “hard-won” knowledge of the land. Now, if you give the map to a student, he has no personal feelings or experiences of this land and therefore does not care as much. John Dewey gives us his personal thoughts when he says, “seeking and finding his own way out, does he think …. If he cannot devise his own solution (not, of course, in isolation but in correspondence with the teacher and other pupils) and find his own way out he will not learn, not even if he can recite some correct answer with one hundred percent accuracy” (John Dewey). Learnings need to engage in their environment to really understand all that they are learning. Lastly, Dewey had the theory of instrumentalism, which was his version of pragmatism. Dewey thought that scientific concepts and theories don’t need to be determined based on their truth or correspondence to reality, but rather if they help make accurate empirical predictions that resolve conceptual issues. They are not necessarily descriptions of the natural world . He thought that knowledge comes from the discernment of correlation between events. He thought that ideas are tools to help us understand the world ( (