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Education
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John Dewey: Comment on Freedom in Education (Essay Sample)

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Running Head: John Dewey: Comment on Freedom in Education
John Dewey: Comment on Freedom in Education
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John Dewey: Comment on Freedom in Education
Born on 20 October 1859, John Dewey was an American educationist, philosopher and a psychologist. He has contributed immensely to the social reforms as well as the development of the education sector. It is of paramount importance to note that despite the fact that Dewey is best known for his works related to education, he on the other hand wrote extensively on other aspects that include nature, experience, logic, art, democracy, inquiry, and ethics. Dewey supported democracy and showed that it could only be achieved through education and civil society. He noted that it would be almost impossible to have a democratic society if the people were not actively involved in ensuring that the government was responsible and accountable for all its deeds. He notes that freedom in education should not be mistaken as the freedom to do whatever a person wants.
John Dewey started to explore the concept of progressive education in 1896 after he established The Laboratory School at the University of Chicago. According to him, he had witnessed several attempts of failed attempts of creating an educational system since most of the educational systems that were being developed were not successful. Dewey decided to take an active role in ensuring that education was helpful to the learner (Dewey, 1930). The traditional methods of education were the ones responsible for the failing students and Dewey chose to develop an education policy that was to be positive and constructive. Dewey did not want people to focus on the materials used in learning, but emphasized on determining whether students were receiving a good education (Warde, 1960).
According to Dewey, progressive education is the best type of learning that can be offered to any student. He observes that education is not more than a discovery or transfer of knowledge to a student. The things that student learn are recorded meaning that they are things that have happened in the past. However, if a student is not able to know these things then, learning will not have taken place. Dewey shows that it is important to ensure that students are in a position to gain this knowledge irrespective of the ways used. This can only be achieved if the educator creates an environment that is capable of offering the student the best learning experiences (Warde, 1960).
In order to ensure that the student is able to learn an educator should ask him/her this question. "How shall the young become acquainted with the past in such a way that the acquaintance is a potent agent in appreciation of the living present?" (Dewey, 1930, p. 23). This ensures that the educator does not pass knowledge to the student through books only, but should help the student in connecting the past to the present. This w...
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