John Dewey was a pragmatist, progressivist, educator, philosopher, and social reformer (Gutek, 2014). Dewey’s various roles greatly impacted education and he was perhaps one of the most influential educational philosophers known to date (Theobald, 2009). Dewey’s impact on education was very evident in his theory about social learning; he believed that school should be representative of a social environment and that students learn best when in natural social settings (Flinders & Thornton, 2013). His ideas impacted education in another facet because he believed that students were all unique learners and he was a proponent of student interests driving teacher instruction (Dewey, 1938). With the current educational focus in the United States being on the implementation of the Common Core standards and passing standardized tests and state exams, finding evidence of John Dewey’s theories in classrooms today can be problematic (Theobald, 2009). Education in most classrooms today is what Dewey would have described as a traditional classroom setting. He believed that traditional classroom settings were not developmentally appropriate for young learners (Dewey, 1938). Although schools, classrooms, and programs that support Dewey’s theories are harder to find in this era of testing, there are some that still do exist. This paper will explore Responsive Classroom, Montessori Schools, Place-Based Education, and Philosophy for Children (P4C), all of which incorporate the theories of John Dewey into their curricular concepts.
Williams, M. K. (2017). John Dewey in the 21st Century. Journal of Inquiry and Action in Education, 9 (1). Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.buffalostate.edu/jiae/vol9/iss1/7
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