story by Claire Miller
American philosopher John Dewey, who founded The New School for Social Research and advocated for educational reform in the early 20th century, was a proponent of learning by doing.
“Dewey argues that educative experiences are the core of human learning,” said Distinguished University Professor Deron Boyles. “For an experience to be ‘educative’ means that it opens and supports continued inquiry; it promotes thinking, doing and reflecting to solve social problems.”
Boyles focuses his research on school commercialism, epistemology, ethics and American philosophy – particularly Dewey’s and Joseph Kinmont Hart’s philosophies. His latest book, John Dewey’s Imaginative Vision of Teaching, delves into key themes in Dewey’s work and how those can be applied to both educational policy and teaching practices.
For example, Boyles notes that schools and districts tend to focus on educators’ teaching methods and rubrics for measuring academic success, and less on how teachers can provide the kind of engaging learning environments that Dewey would recommend for students.
“We seem to be so focused on methods and techniques for adults that we forget that humans —children — are innately inquisitive,” he said. “You don’t have to prod, poke or stimulate kids to learn. You have to get out of their way and provide safe, open, enriching environments for their natural growth.”
To learn more about his book, visit https://myersedpress.presswarehouse.com/browse/book/9781975502928/John-Dewey-s-Imaginative-Vision-of-Teaching.