June 20, 2003
John Dewey – what's he all about?

This morning (early in the morning) I did some broadcasting. Not so you'd notice. It won't emerge onto the airwaves for several months. But once again, after I'd written that up, I find that my education blogging time is limited. Plus I have a headache. Maybe I should get a sick-note, scan it in and stick it up here.

So instead of the usual ranting and pontificating, I have a question. John Dewey. For years I've been trying to get a handle on this guy.

Can anyone suggest (links to) good articles about this guy that won't take me half a day to read?

I find – oh dear, here comes some more educational pontification – that if I want to learn of the significance of some thinker, I learn more and more quickly if I read stuff that is strongly partisan, in favour and against. Maybe it's that I come from two families of lawyers. I find that if I want the truth about something I stage an argument about it, and then judge. If you see what I mean. (That was the kind of programme I was involved in this morning also. The BBC has the adversarial principle built into its DNA, or at any rate the Radio 4, local radio, discussion bits that I get involved in.)

The Christians disapprove, right? And is that just the creationists? Or do other Christians have other objections? And how about all those conservatives who associate Dewey with falling standards? Which they do, yes?

My friend Chris Tame, who is a Randian, can't mention the name of Dewey without spitting metaphorical blood. What's might that be about?

It's not that there isn't enough stuff. It's that there is, if anything, too much. I don't know where to start.


This looks as if it might be helpful. As might this.

Guidance anybody? Thanks in advance.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 08:35 PM
Category: Education theory