AN ANANLYSIS OF JOHN DEWEY’S PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION AND ITS RELEVANCE TO THE CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY

  • Chapters:4
  • Pages:82
  • Methodology:Descriptive
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(Philosophy)
AN ANANLYSIS OF JOHN DEWEY’S PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION AND ITS RELEVANCE TO THE CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY
ABSRACT

John Dewey is an American philosopher, an educator, social reformer, psychologist and a pragmatist who knew the importance of Education and the role it plays in the society.
In John Dewey’s philosophy of education, he criticised the traditional theories of education because it was based on some erroneous conception of human nature and was not able to show the relevance of education in the contemporary society.
The traditional theories of education practised a system that was based on information and skills that have been practised and worked out in the past and transferred into the present, making the skills and information passive and students memorizing them, thus not show the impact of education in the society.
For Dewey, Education should be based on experience. It should be able to assist student develop their attitude, effective problem solving skills for social development. In Dewey’s philosophy of education, he showed the significance of a teacher and school which serve as a means of social reform in an individual in the contemporary society.
For Dewey, sound education in this contemporary society can lead to development of an individual and such development can lead to the development of the contemporary society which is the essence of education.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: General Introduction     
Background of the Study             
State of the Problem                    
The Scope of the Study                 
Methodology                 
The Purpose of the Study             
The Significance of the Study            
Literature Review                    
Endnotes                    
CHAPTER TWO; John Dewey’s Pragmatic Education
2.1     Traditional Educational Theories and Its
Short-comings                    
2.2     Dewey’s Theory of Knowledge     
2.3     Dewey’s Ethics                 
2.4     Dewey’s Ideology on Education         
2.5     Education as a Child Centred Activity     
2.6     Dewey’s Instrumentalism and Naturalism         
2.7     Education as a Tool To Social Reconstruction or
Development                     
    Endnotes                         
CHAPTER THREE; Relevance of John Dewey’s Philosophy of Education
3.1    Introduction                 
3.2    Education in Nigerian Society                 
3.3    Deweyan View of Education and The Relevance
 To The Nigerian Society             
    Endnotes                     
CHAPTER FOUR; Evaluation, Summary and Conclusion
4.1     Evaluation                     
4.2    Summary                     
4.3    Conclusion                     
    Endnotes                     
Bibliography                     
CHAPTER ONE
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.1    Background Of Study
    John Dewey is an American Philosopher, an education, social reformer, a pragmatist and an advocate of sound education. His philosophy or theory of education was an offshoot of pragmatism which is seen as the underlying social and intellectual philosophy of the American way of life.
    Apart from his theory of education been an offshoot of pragmatism, Dewey’s philosophy of education was also based on instrumentalism which centres around the individual or individualism.
Thus, pragmatism and instrumentalism bring us into prominence, the importance of the individual because it is he (i.e the individual) who is the carrier of creative thoughts, author of action and its application.
    For John Dewey, the individual are real and they possess freedom that is rightly theirs and to exercise. This is in contrast to the traditional educational system which sees the individual as a part of a significant whole.
For Dewey, the individual is important because of his unique experience of his environment. Dewey’s entire effort as an educationist or educational philosopher was an attempt to show that all of man’s experience and actions take on increased meaning when understood naturalistically and when seen as functions for solving his problem and enriching his life and that of others.
    The traditional system of education was highly criticized by John Dewey because its practice was a system whereby the subject matter of education consist of bodies of information and skill that have been worked out in the past, therefore making the main business or aim of an institution, education centre to be transmitting these old and worked out information, ideas or knowledge or skill to the new generation of individuals or knowledge passively. It involves memorization of factual information and historical classes.
Apart from John Dewey who criticized the traditional system of education, Alfred North whitehead also criticized it. For him, when educating a child, or training a child to activity of thought, we should beware or abstain from what he called “inert ideas” – i.e ideas that are merely, received into the mind without being until loosed, tested or thrown into fresh combinations.1     
    The traditional system of education isolated the subject matter (i.e the students) from active life experiences. Thus, this makes education to be conceived as nothing other than impacting information about remote matter and the conveying of learning through verbal signs.
    The old and worked out ideas, information or knowledge that the traditional system of education transmit to the new generation is what Alfred North whitehead refer to as “inter ideas” for him, this “insert ideas” is useless, not only useless but harmful-corruption option, pessima.2
    In the contemporary society, the traditional  system of education is what is been followed; this have made students and persons that undergo educational  training  not to possess the essence of education which according to John Dewey is the development of humans or students in order to increase their capacity in solving problems around them, through creative thoughts, active life experiences.
    John Dewey believe that the principal objective of education is to in still in students or individuals the attitudes and habits conducive to the development of their capacity to solve problems. Like the argued in Democracy and education, it requires that classroom emphasis be placed not on arrays of factual information or on inherited ideas presented as settled and accepted but on intelligent method by which such factual information or such ideas are discovered and readily established.3
    The contemporary society still practice the traditional system of education which in turn will not be able to produce individuals that can be able to tackle problems facing them in the society; which shows the essence of education in life of an individual and to give humanity hope of John Dewey’s theory of education in the contemporary society, the essence of education will be seen, individuals will be properly developed in order for them to be able to tackle and solve problems in the contemporary society.
1.2    The Statement Of The Problem
    The statement of the problem of this work can be said to be that the traditional system of education is unable to produce individuals who will be responsible and competent enough to handle and solve problems in the contemporary society, this is as a result of his method of education. This method Alfred North Whitehead refers to as “inert ideas”.
For Dewey Responsibility is an element of an intellectual attitude which is a disposition to consider in advance the probable consequences of any projected step and deliberately to accept them.4.
    Another problem of the traditional system of education is that it places classroom emphasis on arrays of factual information or inherited ideas which do give the individual opportunity to express his/herself through experience or discovery.
Whitehead in support of the individual acquiring knowledge through his experience says; “from the very beginning of his education, the child shoved experience the joy of discovery. The discovery which he has to make is that general ideas that give an understanding of that stream of events which pours through his life which in turn becomes is life.5
The traditional system lacking this incentive, makes it not to be acceptable as a system of education.
Finally, the traditional system of education has the problem of having a programmed system, a stereotyped way of conceiving education. This is not ideal. For Dewey, education should not just be a way of impacting knowledge but also a way of expressing such knowledge.
    Thus, with these problems, we are compelled to abandon the traditional system of education and forward to accept a more problem-solving realistic practical and individual oriented system of education – John Dewey’s philosophy of education.
1.3    The Scope Of The Study
    The scope of the study of this work will be restricted to John Dewey’s theory or philosophy of education.
This is not to say that John Dewey did not write on any other aspect  of life or philosophy. It is restricted to this theory as a result of the nature and aim of this work.
    As a philosopher, he write on some aspect of philosophy like ethics, epistemology, Metaphysics and even social philosophy. In order to grasp full knowledge, importance and significance of this work and his educational philosophy, we need to throw tight on other aspects of his though. His educational philosophy, was in fact a unique element of philosophy, though and writings.
1.4    Methodology
    In this work, the method that will be used in order to put this work together is that of critical and conceptual analysis. This methodology will help in analyzing critically and conceptually some basic concepts used in John Dewey’s theory as a whole.
    This methodology will only become achievable with the aid of qualitative  research method through the aid of qualitative research method through the use of archival research, library research and consultancy, resource materials and text books on John Dewey’s philosophy of education, book on education that is similar to John Dewey theory of education.
    With this methodology, the writing and compilation of this work will be brought into reality.
1.5    The Purpose Of The Study
    The aim and purpose of this work is to show the pragmatic value and the practicability of sound education which is lacking in the traditional school system and to use education as a tool for dealing with current situations and problems. Dewey’s educational philosophy is also aimed at recognizing the intimate connection between action and thought, experiments and reflection, thereby leading to the growth, direction and progress of the society.
    Thus, the purpose of this work is to show how relevant and effective Dewey’s educational philosophy can be in the contemporary society which have been infected by the traditional educational system.
    This work is also aimed at increasing the level of individual development in order for them to be able to tackle problems facing the contemporary society.
1.6    The Significance Of The Study
    The significance of this study is to give us a better outlook of education by showing to use the value of individual freedom in learning and to what extent an individual can go in enhancing in growth of the society, i.e if given the freedom and opportunity to learn from his experience and to learn by doing.
    The study is also significant because it will be a worthy step in the direction of fashioning a new basics or foundation for education which is based on freedom of learning on the part of the individual. Freedom here means essentially the part played by thinking which is personal, in learning, its means intellectual initiative independence of observation; judicious invention; foresight of consequence.6
    This study is also seen to be significance because it shows the value of an individual experience as a basics for growth and thereby creating a society of responsible and experienced persons who are ready to take challenges and to face them headlong.
    It is also significant because of the relevant role in the contemporary society in the aspect of education.
A sound and balanced system of education should see education as a child-centered activity which recognizes the depth of intelligence and sense of creativity of children.7
1.7    Literature Review
    In the course of writing this work, some books, materials were consulted in order to meet the aim of this project work. Some of these books were books written by the philosopher of which this work is centered on, while others were related to the subject matter and idea of the philosopher of which the work is centered on. These books or related literatures are going to be reviewed one after the other. some of them (i.e the books) and related literatures are classic while some are contemporary.
    Firstly, a book written by John Dewey –
Democracy and education – it is an attack on the preparation for life view of education. Here, Dewey explains that it is not of course a question whether, education prepare for the future. But if education is growth, it must progressively realized present possibilities and thus make individuals better fitted to cope with latter requirements.8
So, the mistake for future need but in making in the mainspring of present effort.
    Secondly, a book written by Alfred North Whitehead, “The Aims of Education and Other Essays”. In this book, Whitehead is trying to show the purpose of education which is similar to Dewey’s educational theory which is to stimulate and guide their self – development, the effectiveness of teachers, rejection of dead knowledge which according to whitehead he called it “Inert Idea”.9.
    Thirdly, a book written by J.F Dogle – “Educational Judgements, papers in Philosophy of Education”.
In this book, J.F Dogle asserts that education must engender in the individual disposition of personal autonomy responsibility and a  mastery of relevant forms of life, thought and action.
The writer further suggested that educational relevance is on the one hand a matter of cultivating individual interest and potentialities and on the other hand, a matter of preparing people to engage in genuinely  new forms of life, thoughts and actions.
    Another book reviewed in this work is a book written by John Dewey – “Experience and Education”.
In this book, Dewey reformulated his ideas as a result of his intervening experience with the  progressive schools and in the light of the criticisms of his theories.
 Endnotes
A.N. Whitehead, The Aims of Education and other Essays, London; Ernest Benn, Limited, 1970.
G.W. Shorh, American Philosophy since the Civil War, D. Van Nostrand Company Inc. 1968.
J. Dewey, Democracy and Education, an Introduction to the philosophy of Education, New York; Macmillan Publishing Company, the free press, 1916.
S.M. Cah, Classics and Contemporary Readings I the Philosophy of Education. New York; The City University Graduate School of New York, the McGraw – Hill Companies Inc. 1997.
J.F. Dogle, Education Judgments, Papers in the Philosophy of Education, London 1973.    

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Project Details

Department Philosophy
Project ID PHI0016
Price ₦3,000 ($9)
Chapters 4 Chapters
No of Pages 82 Pages
Methodology Descriptive
Reference YES
Format Microsoft Word

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    Project Details

    Department Philosophy
    Project ID PHI0016
    Price ₦3,000 ($9)
    Chapters 4 Chapters
    No of Pages 82 Pages
    Methodology Descriptive
    Reference YES
    Format Microsoft Word

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