John Dewey was a famous American philosopher. Born on October 20th, 1859, he grew to become a very influential leader in the reform of education. Although he faced some hardships, such as being laid off his first job, Dewey overcame these obstacles and prospered in his field. Join me in learning about the life of John Dewey.
John Dewey Facts
1. The environment that John Dewey was brought up aided him as he grew up interacting with many different countries.
John Dewey grew up in Burlington, Vermont, and was a member of a financially stable family. His mother came from a wealthy farm family while his father, who had been a successful merchant in the food industry, joined the Union Army because he wanted to fight in the Civil War. Growing up where he did, John was able to experience many different cultures as Burlington was a very common settling destination for immigrants. In addition to this, Dewey’s early education came from public schools and this allowed him to integrate more with other cultures, an interesting fact about John Dewey.
2. Ironically, John Dewey found school boring, even though he became an important figure in educational reform.
Even though he didn’t like high school, John graduated at the age of fifteen, even though he found school subjects too boring for his taste. He later joined his brother in the University of Vermont and decided to study philosophy. There, he met Henry Torrey, who was his professor at the university and who guided him through his course and further increased his interest in it. By 1879, he graduated, and began working as a teacher in a high school.
3. John Dewey was fired from his first job as a teacher.
After receiving his degree, John Dewey moved to Pennsylvania to take up a teaching post at an educational institution. An interesting fact about John Dewey is that he was fired from this position only due to the fact that his cousin was the principal of the establishment and had retired at that time. He moved back to Vermont and taught in a private school after this incident, and developed a great interest in philosophy.
4. John Dewey followed his passion and interest in philosophy and managed to build a successful career for himself.
Upon moving back to Vermont, Dewey rekindled his relationship with Torrey, and often enjoyed discussing philosophy with him. As his fascination in the topic grew, John Dewey decided to pursue a degree in philosophy at Johns Hopkins University. Here he also met many powerful personalities that impacted him, including George Morris and G. Stanley. In 1884, he completed his doctorate, and began working in universities and began introducing his own philosophies and theories of education.
5. Dewey found himself a partner that supported his views and decisions.
In 1886, John married Alice Chipman and together they had six children, an interesting John Dewey fact. While teaching in universities, Dewey was also publishing his own theories. He tested his theories at first in 1894, when he opened an elementary school and used his techniques on the students. His wife was very supportive of him, and even took the position as principal of the establishment. Dewey later opened another educational facility that catered to pupils from their nursery ages, all through grade twelve.
6. Dewey remained in China longer to aid the Chinese with their cause while also spreading his education intellection.
John Dewey moved with his family and began teaching at Colombia University. At this time, he continued to produce published work. He travelled to China in 1919, initially, he only went as a guest to the University of Shanghai, but during this time period, there was political unrest as the first World War had just ended, and the Chinese were protesting against having Shandong being under the control of the Japanese. It was for this reason that Dewey decided to extend his stay until 1921, and throughout this time he gave many lectures, which were attended by thousands every day.
Soon Dewey became known around the world for his theories, and was even invited to Turkey to help the Turkish government decide on an educational policy that would best suit them.
7. Even after officially retiring, John stayed true to his goal, aiding in the educational department.
He retired in 1930, but education remained John Dewey’s priority. He once said; “Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself.” It was very clear that he truly believed the philosophies he had taught and proceeded to implement them after retirement.
To further explore the different educational environments around the world, and to continue to spread his message, Dewey travelled to many countries. As previously mentioned, he helped Turkey form an effective educational technique. When he visited Russia, he was delighted to know that they valued how their students cooperated with the present time, and he shared the data he collected with his companions. He also travelled all the way to South Africa to attend the ‘World Conference of New Education Fellowship’, an interesting fact about John Dewey.
8. It’s no surprise that Dewey received awards for his accomplishments.
For his outstanding work in psychology, John Dewey received many awards. Many of these were honorary degrees from top-notch universities like, the University of Yale, Pennsylvania and Rome. Furthermore, he was elected to be the president of America’s Psychological Association
After the passing of his wife in 1927, Dewey went on to marry a widow, Roberta Grant, in 1946. The publication of all his books along with the inheritance of his new wife allowed the couple to live comfortably in their remaining days. On the 1st of June 1952, when Dewey was ninety-two years old, he lost his battle to pneumonia and died. John Dewey’s life’s work has been valued over the years as he made great advancements in education. His most famous writings consist of “The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology”, in which Dewey analyses the basics of psychology, and “Democracy and Education”, where he links the ability of the citizens of a country to make the right decisions to the importance of students learning how to correctly inquire about situations.
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