Education and Democracy

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The main goal of John Dewey’s educational philosophy was to emphasize the importance of incorporating a practical approach into the teaching and assessment process. This would ensure that students not only had a theoretical understanding of learning but also had the ability to put it into practice.
John Dewey was an educational philosopher who placed a strong emphasis on pragmatism in the classroom. He argued that it should be included in the educational curriculum. Dewey believed that children’s minds evolved as they grew up, similar to Darwin’s theory of human evolution. From this perspective, he emphasized an approach to learning the accounted for the student’s constantly changing and growing brain capacity. From this perspective, he argued that the students ought to be exposed to both theory and practical elements of the same subject in order to reinforce the student’s understanding.

From the previous generations, especially in the public-school learning, there was a rigid pattern of learning followed to the latter. With this rigid learning regime that involved putting many students in a single classroom with a single teacher emphasizes on children’s ability to memorize things they had learned in class rather than an understanding the concepts learned. This approach underutilizes the student’s brain and makes them more of robots than flexible thinkers. Thus, a flexible pattern of learning that allows for application of the concepts taught in class as a means of strengthening the learning process and helping the student’s brain develop and evolve effectively is emphasized.

John Dewey supported the idea that, one was to go school not only because he or she was supposed to as an obligation but rather because it is fun being in school. This meant that learning was to be made interesting through seeing and believing. This implied an experimental outlook which would prepare the learners for the future (University).

Learning in educational institutions was to be democratic as it brings the aspect of the learner’s idea into the classroom that should be recognized by the teacher in the classroom. This grows learner’s ability to think critically outside the box away from lessons learned in class. The diversity of ideas allows a broad spectrum of learning. This creates an avenue for one to learn from their peers through group work as opposed to individual learning that does not bring sense during the learning process as there is no diversity in the learning process but a rather oneness that is limited to new ideas from other people.

Finally, according to Dewey, there was no distinction between academic and vocational learning for they were to be used concurrently in the learning process for vocational learning provides hands-on experience while academic learning adds the theoretical information to the learner’s knowledge base. Additionally, this would prepare the students in both humanistic and scientific fields (Hansen).

My Opinion

It is prudent that in the learning process, emphasis should not only be in the theoretical context of the curriculum but also include the practical aspect of it. The education system should not be rigid and more focused on inculcating the context from books but rather equally focus on practical aspects as well. The teachers have to be dynamic and give room for variant perspectives in line with creativity during learning. I concur with Dewey approach in advocating for pragmatism in education.

Works Cited

Hansen, David T. “Reading Democracy and Education.” 2006. 05 June 2017.

John Dewey: America’s philosopher of democracy and his importance to education. Dir. Washington State University. Perf. A G Rud. 2011. Web.

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