Pragmatism and Pedagogy Relation, Pragmatism in EducationJune 27, 2021
Dewey tried to develop an epistemology opposed to the duality of mind and world, thought and action, which has been influencing Western philosophy since the 17th century. According to Dewey, thought is a function that has evolved to serve the continuation of human life and human welfare. In order for thought to become knowledge, it must be tested by action.
According to Dewey, when children begin their formal education, they bring together four “native impulses”. These are communication, construction, inquiry and fine articulation motives. These motives are “natural capitals that have never been invested in.” The child also brings with him interests and activities from home life, all of which together form the raw material that the teacher will process to produce valuable results.
Deweyan pedagogy calls upon teachers the arduous task of “embedding in experience” all curriculum topics. Because all of the curriculum subjects, just like all human knowledge, are learned as a result of human experience in an effort to solve certain problems, but they were later placed in the curriculum by abstracting from this context.
Dewey summarizes his views on education in his manifesto titled “Pedagogical Creed” published in 18977. The following five sections are a brief summary of this declaration.
About what education is Education progresses with the participation of the individual in the social consciousness of our lineage. This process begins unconsciously at birth, constantly shapes the individual’s powers, satisfies his consciousness, creates his habits, trains his thoughts, and activates his emotions and feelings.
Through this unconscious education, the individual gradually begins to share the intellectual and moral resources that humanity has managed to bring together. It becomes an heir and capital of civilization. Even the most formal and technical education in the world cannot be separated from this general process. He can only organize it or turn it in a different direction.
The only real education comes when the child’s powers are mobilized by the demands of the social institutions in which he lives. Thanks to these demands, the individual is encouraged to act as a part of a unity and evaluates himself in terms of the well-being of the group he is in. He discovers the social meaning of his own actions through the reaction of others to it.
This educational process has psychological and sociological aspects; none of them is superior to the other.
The psychological is fundamental. The child’s own motivational powers provide a starting point for education. An education that does not meet with the activity of the child on his own initiative turns into an external pressure. An education that does not grasp the psychological structure and activities of the individual is haphazard and arbitrary. It catches a jumping-off point if it meets the child’s activities by chance, otherwise it creates conflict and fragmentation.
Knowledge of social conditions, of the current state of civilization, is necessary for the proper interpretation of the child’s powers. We cannot know what the child’s instincts are unless we translate them into their social equivalents.
To understand what a power really is, we must know what its purpose, use, or function is. Therefore, we cannot conceive of the individual outside of active social relations.
In summary, if we eliminate the social factor from the child, we are left with an abstraction; If we eliminate the individual from the society, we are left with a mass that does not live. Education, then, must begin with a psychological understanding of the child’s capacities, interests, and temperaments; should be checked at every stage with reference to these assessments; these powers, interests and habits must be constantly interpreted and translated into their social equivalents.
About what a school is A school is simply a form of community organized in such a way as to bring together the most effective means so that the child can share the resources inherited by our descendants and use their power for social purposes.
Education is a way of life, not preparation for the future.
The school should represent the current life that is vital for the child.
The school should be a model that simplifies existing social life and reduces it to an embryonic form. Because life itself is so complex that it causes the child’s own powers to disintegrate.
As a community life, school must begin with home life as its foundation. Show the child various activities, the child must learn the meaning of them by playing his own role.
The biggest problem of the current system is that it sees the school not as a community life, but as a place where information will be given, lessons will be learned and habits will be formed.
The best moral education can be obtained when a person enters into appropriate relationships with others in a business and intellectual integrity. Existing education systems make real moral education difficult because they break this unity.
The teacher should also be part of the congregation. Its job is not to impose certain ideas, but to