A Notable Modern Philosopher – John Dewey
A notable modern philosopher, John Dewey, dedicated his career for the betterment of education. He was an academically well-versed man who also travelled internationally to better his approach to education for a broader perspective. John Dewey’s philosophy was greatly based on a naturalistic approach towards knowledge from a human’s adaptation towards it’s environment. He contributed many works of writing during his lifetime and continued to do so till his death John Dewey was born on October 20, 1859 in Burlington, Vermont and died Just first 1952. His parents, Archibald Dewey and Lucina Artemisia Rich, lead a simple life. His father was a merchant who later served in the Civil War for the Union. His mother’s side of the family were wealthy farmers. He had a pleasant life with his family. His father opened a successful tobacco mart after the war had been won. John Dewey was also the third child of his parents’ four children. He was also an excelling student with a passion for philosophy at just the age of 15. He also attended the University of Vermont at the young age of 15. At just the age of 19 he graduated at number two of his class from university. After his university education he pursued a teaching career at Oil City, Pennsylvania. His cousin had resigned from his job as a principal at the school he was referred to so consequently John Dewey was let go. After a period of unemployment, John Dewey returned back to his home state to teach a privately funded school. Torrey, Dewey’s former teacher at university would discuss philosophy with him on their leisure time a lot. This persuaded Dewey to pursue his passion for philosophy and discontinue his career as a teacher. He attended Johns Hopkins University to pursue psychology and philosophy.
Later, he achieved a doctorate degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1884. Also, during his time in university pursuing his doctorate, he was heavily influenced by his professors, George Sylvester and Stanley Hall. After receiving his doctorate in psychology and philosophy, he moved to Michigan. He was hired as an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. There, he met his wife, Alice Chipman with whom he fathered 6 children. They also adopted a seventh child. The relocated to Minnesota at which John Dewey taught philosophy at the University of Minnesota. He again migrated to Michigan adding 5 more years to his teaching experience at the University of Michigan. Again, after 5 years he relocated to Chicago, Illinois to become the head of the philosophy. He headed the department of philosophy at the University of Chicago in 1894 for 10 years. He later joined Columbia University as a philosophy professor.
In 1927, his wife Harriet passed away. John Dewey heavily supported education reform. He supported kinetic learning styles. His wife and him upstarted their own elementary school. It was initially an experiment called University Elementary School. It started at the University of Chicago. They ended up firing her and consequently he resigned. John Dewey started the New School for Social Research in 1919 with his colleagues. It was also an experimental school that implemented social sciences, arts education and the freedom to trade knowledge. John Dewey toured the world spreading his perspective on education reform during the 1920’s. As he returned to the United States, he expressed his impression of the views of education throughout the world. He was especially intrigued by the education system of Russia. He believed that education of the present is very important and also expressed the importance of learning about our past history. After his career with education reform he became a part of many educational organizations. He did not stop his advocation for education. While working at the University of Michigan, John Dewey authored his first two books.
Psychology was written in 1887 and Leibniz’s New Essays Concerning the Human Understanding was authored in 1888. He authored more than one thousand works of writing over his life time. He wrote for a variety of genres including psychology, education theory, politics and more. The New Republic is a news media organization Dewey had utilized to publish his work and establish himself as an academic philosopher. He continued to contribute to commentary till the end of his life. John Dewey also participated in politics. He believed the best form of government is democracy. Due to the Industrial Revolution, America was worn, and democracy was crippled. He believed the wealth of America was distributed unfairly. Only a small percentage of the population had quickly grown wealth and did not benefit society as a whole. He criticized the major political parties for being in the pockets of big businesses. He in turn became president of the People’s Lobby and also aided labor leaders to create the People’s Party for the upcoming election of 1948.
John Dewey lived from 1859 to 1952. In this time, he may have been the biggest contributor to the betterment of education during his time (twentieth century). He advocated for morality and education and for the use of kinetic learning. He expressed his interest in reforming democracy during the 20th century and even helped create the People’s Party which moderately reflects the political standpoint of modern days liberalism. He researched himself and even created a school for the sole reason of bettering education. He is an extremely well-educated man and dedicated his life for ultimately the betterment of society. Personally, I think John Dewey was a very empathetic and knowledgeable man. He dedicated his life to education and had socialistic political views. He believed in the betterment of society as a whole. I very much liked his approach to politics and education. Personally, I like, learn better and retain information better learning by doing. I greatly appreciate his work.