Advertisement

Cultural Studies of Science Education

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 239–245 | Cite as

The educational situation in Utopia: why what is, is

  • Jayson Seaman
  • John Quay
Article
  • 252 Downloads

Abstract

In this response to Molly Ware’s review of our 2013 book, John Dewey and Education Outdoors, we extend her suggestion that complexity be regarded as an important, generative force in education reform. Drawing on Dewey’s 1933 Utopian Schools speech, we discuss the “level deeper” that Dewey sought as he criticized the method/subject mater dichotomy, which he saw as an artifact of social class carried forward in the form of a curricular debate rather than a natural source of tension that would be productive to democratic education. Dewey radically argued that learning itself contained similar anti-democratic potential. Eschewing the false child versus curriculum dichotomy, Dewey believed complexity as a catalyst for educational action would be achieved by engaging children in historically formed occupations, harnessing the forces that drive technological and cultural evolution in order to spur interest, effort, and the formation of social attitudes among students. Following Ware, we suggest that reformers should seek to understand at a lever deeper the many sources of complexity they encounter as they both challenge and honor what is.

Keywords

John Dewey Outdoor education Curriculum theory 

References

  1. DeFalco, A. (2010). An analysis of John Dewey's notion of occupations: Still pedagogically viable? Journal of Education and Culture, 26(1). doi: 10.1353/eac.0.0052.
  2. Dewey, J. (1897). My pedagogic creed. The School Journal, 4(3), 77–80. doi: 10.1086/651519.
  3. Dewey, J. (1899). The school and social progress. In J. J. McDermott (Ed.), The philosophy of John Dewey (pp. 454–467). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  4. Dewey, J. (1900). The school and society. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Dewey, J. (1915/1990). The psychology of occupations. In J. Dewey (Ed.), The child and the curriculum/The school and society (pp. 132–138). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  6. Dewey, J. (1933). Underlying philosophy of education. In J. A. Boydston (Ed.), John Dewey, the later works Volume 8: 1933 (pp. 77–103). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Dewey, J. (1934). Dewey outlines utopian schools. In J. A. Boydston (Ed.), John Dewey, the later works volume 9: 1933–1934 (Vol. 9, pp. 136–140). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  9. Fallace, T. D. (2008). John Dewey and the savage mind: Uniting anthropological, psychological, and pedagogical thought, 1894–1902. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 44(4), 335–349. doi: 10.1002/jhbs.20328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kliebard, H. M. (1995). The struggle for the American curriculum, 1893–1958 (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Quay, J., & Seaman, J. (2013). John Dewey and education outdoors: Making sense of the ‘educational situation’ through more than a century of progressive reforms. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Wardekker, W., Boersma, A., Ten Dam, G., & Volman, M. (2011). Motivation for school learning: Enhancing the meaningfulness of learning in communities of learners. In M. Hedegaard, A. Edwards, & M. Fleer (Eds.), Motives in children’s development: Cultural-historical approaches (pp. 153–169). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Outdoor Education, Department of KinesiologyUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Melbourne Graduate School of EducationUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations