The Biography of John Dewey: an Introduction

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Nowhere can it be found of a philosopher whose intellect has made such an impact on the twentieth century as John Dewey. He has brought two kinds of education, traditional and progressive, and generalized them to their simplest form. What Dewey is explaining throughout Experiences and Education is that there is a gap between the child and subject due to failure to recognize interaction between child and teacher. The main idea that is clear to see is that students must experience in order to learn. In education his influence has been a leading factor in the loss of controlling methods and in the growing of learning through experimenting and practicing. Dewey is the father of Progressive Education.

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Dewey considered education as a tool that would help a person to use the knowledge gained effectively and usefully. In Education and Experience, Dewey tries to display similarities of the principles of traditional education and the ideas of progressive. Dewey wrote, "Any theory and set of practices is dogmatic which is not based upon critical examination of its own underlying principles" , it explains how education is not even relevant to education anymore.

John Dewey's significance for progressive educators lies in a number of areas. He criticized educational methods that simply amused and entertained students or were overly planned out. He than went on to agreed on education that would fulfill and enrich the current lives of students as well as prepare them for their future. Traditional education that was explained by Dewey is when the knowledge is directed from the book and given straight to the students in facts and numbers. This is the type of learning style that was taught in the earlier days and is now being modified by the new style, progressive education, which is a better form of interaction between the teacher and student.

Dewey didn t clearly state weather he was for or against any education style, he generally describe them both and had positives and negatives for each form of education. Because of his inability to choose, modern society is questioning which form of education is best to proceed with our children. John Dewey was onto something with his knowledge and gave the world something to look for in education and made the most significant contribution to the development of educational thinking. Some people agree with traditional education and some people don t. All types of education were good for the children in the past and any form of education will be good for the children of today. All that is needed is instructors to be as good as the can in getting the information to the students. By being successful in the classroom will in turn make society a better place for everyone. Dewey believes that by having a progressive style in learning will help the students gain knowledge more effectively.

Dewey s knowledge of education is best told when he said, Education is a discipline that is concerned, in this context, mainly with methods of teaching and learning in schools or school like environments as opposed to various informal means of socialization . Growing up I have had many different learning approaches given to me. I found that the approach that works best for me is the style when the instructor educates us on the same level and interaction is established. Without an instructor that tries to reach the children than the knowledge is wasted. I believe that progressive education is the best idea that our society should follow going into the new millennium. Progressive education is good mainly for the fact that one of its main objectives was to educate the "whole child"--that is, to attend to physical and emotional, as well as intellectual, growth. In addition, this certain form of education is good simply because it needs to be changed and adjusted as society in general is changing. With the world growing more modern everyday, the children of today need to be educated modernly in order to be successful in the world tomorrow. Education is important no matter the form in which it is given to the children.

Many people don t understand the form of good education anymore. It is key that the people are glad that our children are being educated at all. Some other countries are not half as modern as ours and those children are not able to access the knowledge that the children of the United States are. Some people come to our country for a better life, meaning that our system is well organized and better than most. If the way we live and the way we educate are better than other countries than we all must be doing something right.

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