Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory

2017 Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

Dewey on History and Geography in Education

  • Scott L. PrattEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-588-4_43


In this 1897 pamphlet, Ethical Principles of Education, the subject areas of geography and history are introduced as examples of how the aims of education intersect with the division of the “facts” to be taught. In contrast with the received conception of geography as “a description of the Earth’s surface,” Dewey proposed that geography had “to do with all those aspects of social life which are concerned with the interaction of the life of man and nature.” History, he declared, was valuable to the extent that it affords “insight into what makes up the structure and working of society.” By 1916, in Democracy and Education, Dewey’s account of the value of geography and history appears to have transformed from a school-based study of social interactions relevant to local concerns to an instrument in service of education’s progressive “civilizing” mission. In the years following, geography disappeared as a topic in Dewey’s discussions of education. History, however, continued...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OregonEugeneUSA