My thoughts on the relevance and power of John Dewey, just in time for Labo(u)r Day.

Teaching & Learning in Higher Ed.

"Example is notoriously more potent than precept." —John Dewey, Democracy and Education (1916)by Daniel Richards

We have all heard of John Dewey.

The native of Burlington, Vermont, (1859-1952) has been on U.S. stamps; he protected academic freedom by co-founding the American Association of University Professors (AAUP); his articulation of inquiry undergirds most student-centered and service learning teaching approaches; he was one of the foremost contributors to the development of (despite his disdain for the term) Pragmatism, perhaps America’s greatest contribution to philosophy; and he most likely occupies a full shelf in your university library, having written copiously for over sixty years on pretty much everything, from education to politics to anthropology to social psychology to aesthetics to ethics to communication. There is perhaps no one more prominent within the American educational consciousness than Dewey.

But do we really know John Dewey?

Writing from the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, Dewey is usually—and rightfully—associated with thinkers from a wide variety of…

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