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Shaun Miller For My Pedagogic Creed: go to www.infed.org/archives/e-texts/e-dew-pc.htm For Democracy and Education: go http://wikisource.


Dewey on Education
I. Immaturity 1. We seem to use adulthood as some sort of goal (perhaps idealized goal?) in which we should develop into. 2. We see adulthood as an end, but this end is static. A. This growth at the end means that we have stopped developing; we have stopped growing and thus, stopped maturing. B. The adult automatically sees himself as finished once the education is complete. C. People see education as a means toward some end in the future, but education should also be seen as an end in itself. a. In Democracy and Education, means without ends may be cruel and ineffective; but ends without means are often deceptive or futile. 3. Therefore, education has no end in itself for it is its own end; and education is always continually processing because we are always reconfiguring, and transforming ourselves. II. Plasticity the power to learn 1. We are adaptable; we can adapt to the environment but we still give a certain bent to things. 2. It is the ability to learn from experience: we retain our experiences in order to cope to the difficulties in later situations. A. It is to develop dispositions, to acquire habits. B. Through this, we acquire habits or learning: we learn to learn. 3. We could plan out the future and use our powers to make certain goals. III. Habits the ability to use natural conditions as means to ends 1. To bring education into the picture means to control these means to achieve certain ends. 2. Routine habits are unthinking habits. A. They are habits possessing us so that they end adaptability and varying powers. 3. Bad habits are habits that are separate from reason that they go against the conclusions for conscious deliberation and decision. A. Question: Dewey mentions reason. Do habits and reason go together? P. 495. IV. Development 1. Development is to direct our powers into certain channels: forming our habits into skills. But this means that development is not final. 2. We use our powers to transform our environment, which in turn causes us to develop new habits. A. If not, we get arrested development.

3. The difference between the child and the adult is not growing and grew up (meaning completeness), but rather different modes of growth to use to different situations. We are always still growing. 4. With respect to coping with scientific and economic problems, we say that the child is growing into an adult. 5. With respect to sympathetic curiosity, unbiased responsiveness, and an open mind, we say that the adult is growing into a childlikeness. 6. Question: What, then, is the best way to develop? A. It seems that we have a certain aversion to certain growths. a. Hegel, Wittgenstein, Russell, and Heidegger were ok in changing their minds; but why do we have a certain repulsion when Rorty or Putnam continue developing? V. Growth 1. Education does not and should not end after schooling. 2. We must abandon the picture where the child has holes in his/her mental and moral life and that education must fill these holes. A. We get the impression that after school, these holes will be filled and we can then fully live. 3. Thus, education is growth, development, and adequacy of life, regardless of age. 4. We often look back at our childhood as regret because schooling, learning, and education was fun; but either through society, friends, or culture, we have learned (grew?) into thinking that schools and educations are a chore or something that we have to do in order to move on. A. We think of education as a means to the next step. B. Just try and teach me, I dare you. VI. Educational process: 1. The school life should grow gradually from the home life. A. Thus, it is the business of the school to extend and deepen the students values from his/her homelife. Education neglects the principle that the school is a form of community life. a. The education of today makes the child receive facts; mere trivia for the sake of something else s/he is to do. All of this is for a preparation. A preparation for what? It is this attitude where the child is not truly educated. b. The teacher is not in the school to impose certain ideas or to form certain habits in the child, but is there as a member of the community to select the influences which shall affect the child and to assist him in properly responding to these influences (Ibid, para. 14). (a) The school should proceed from how the school as a group functions and not directly from the teacher. (b) The teacher is not simply training individuals, but forming the proper social life. (c) Question: What is this proper social life? (d) Is this really practical? Suppose a child were only interested in baseball and s/he would only concentrate on baseball (of course, the child would have to take math and physics), but there is an element that

is missing (social studies, for example) to which the child may eventually learn that taking part in society (e.g. voting, social issues) may be left out to which the child may feel apathetic to those things. (e) What is the child only wants to learn about something that is not really socially important (e.g. pop culture)? We live in a very antiintellectual society and this method might deepen it. (f) If we are supposed to encourage and never repress a students interests, how do we encourage things that we just find appalling? (g) Question: Why do so many students hate school? (h) Answer: We must take into account of each students unique differences and experiences; thus we must find a teaching curriculum that is designed to allow individual differences. (A) Is this too exhausting? After all, how can we comply to every individualistic need when there are just too many of them? B. Examinations are used only to test the childs fitness for social life. C. Violating the childs nature would be to introduce special studies (e.g. reading, writing, geography, etc.) too abruptly for this would be out of relation to the childs social life. Therefore, we should concentrate on the childs own social activities (e.g. cooking, sewing, manual training, etc.). a. We have divorced these subjects from the actual social usage. D. Question: What if the home life is restricted or disagreeable? Sometimes bringing in new information helps even though the student was never curious about it in the first place. E. All of this sounds like homeschooling but without the home. VII.Overall questions 1. What shall we grow into? A. Should we go for a general education, or for a specific one? a. If we say a general education then it sounds like conformity. b. If we say a specific one then it sounds like a fetish. 2. Can we really do this? A. Can people really grow and develop, or are they just lazy? 3. Why do we not express our education outside the institution? A. Do we feel like we are showing off our education?