John Dewey - Philosophy and Learning
John Dewey (1859-1952)
American philosopher (pictured right) and educator.
Dewey was a pragmatist...
Along with two other Americans, C.S. Peirce (pictured right) and William James (pictured right
below), famous for the idea of pragmatism i.e. something is good , if it is
His most famous book
Democracy and Education (1916).
His tips on learning
1. Improve your problem solving
You increase your knowledge by finding solutions to problems.
So vital to learning and education are:
These are much more important than memorizing facts.
Therefore, a teacher must be a guide and helper.
2. Be creative
Creativity and imagination are vital to solving problems - the
brilliant scientist Albert Einstein
(pictured right) agreed.
3. Satisfy the learner’s needs
Education should be student centred with activities to make subjects
more interesting and relevant.
Learning will be more effective, if it is fun.
4. Learning never stops
People learn by continual:
- open-minded and enthusiastic
questioning and experimenting (see point 5) .
- finding new knowledge without bias or prejudice.
- try and accept new and better ideas and ways of doing
6. Learning is for life
Education and learning must give people a better life not just the means to
live (i.e. jobs).
7. Equality of opportunity
Everyone must have the same opportunity to:
- make the most of their ability.
Free and universal education gives everyone (not just the rich) the
freedom to do what they want.
Learning should not be a “monopoly of the few”.
Key quotes on learning and
The true is what works.
The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.
Still more important is the fact that the human being acquires a habit of learning. He learns to learn.
Key quote on
To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.
Key quotes on education and
Scepticism: the mark and even the pose of the educated mind.
We only think when we are confronted with problems.