John Dewey: Turning a New Page on Education

“For Dewey, the scope of appreciation is as broad as that of education itself. Habits are merely mechanical unless they are also tastes. The imagination is needed for appreciation in every field. Thus imaginative activity should not be limited to the world of fairy tales, or even to that of fine art. It is dangerous to associate imagination only with childish play and fancy, while excluding it from goal-directed activity. Even laboratory activities are best seen as dramatizations that may be appreciated aesthetically.” – Tom Leddy

“Dewey asserted that learning cannot be standardized because it always takes place against the backdrop of the learner’s particular knowledge and life experiences. For this reason, he suggested that teachers tie new material to their students’ individual perspectives and give them the freedom to subject it to testing and debate.” – Renee Hobbs

“In contrast, for Dewey each individual was an organism situated in a biological and social environment in which problems were constantly emerging, forcing the individual to reflect and act, and learn. Dewey, following William James, held that knowledge arises from reflection upon our actions; and the worth of a putative item of knowledge is directly correlated with the problem-solving success of the actions performed under its guidance.” – Tom Leddy

About the Authors:

Corey Abramson is studying Mass Communications at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Lorraine Childs studies Broadcast, Telecom and Mass Media in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Temple University.


Hobbs, Renee. Digital and Media Literacy: Connecting Culture and Classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, 2011. Print.

Leddy, Tom, “Dewey’s Aesthetics”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <;.


One response to this post.

  1. […] the Internet to learn more John Dewey’s ideas about art and education and select three direct quotes from a credible source to illustrate Dewey’s thinking. Compose a meaningful headline and include an appropriate visual […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: