What is Learning by Doing?June 27, 2021
It was a fact that Dewey argued, now and for centuries, that the greatest achievement in acquiring knowledge belongs to the basic sciences, two distinguishing features of this knowledge impressed Dewey: it was more reliable than our knowledge in other fields, and it was more reliable for us (in the sense that it made a greater difference in actual life). it was useful.
As a pragmatist, he saw every act of knowing primarily as a human activity, and he examined the scientific way of knowing from this angle to see if what was so specific in science was adaptable to other forms of knowing, and concluded that it was adaptable. For him, science was a highly disciplined, self-critical form of inquiry with a logical structure that could benefit from adapting it to many other forms of inquiry. We always start with the feeling that we are facing a challenge; The first thing we need to do is to clarify this difficulty, in other words, to try to formulate our problem. While this process can be difficult, it can consist of several stages.
The next phase is to reflect on the possible solution to the problem in question. The next step is to test this solution. If experiments falsify our solution, we need to rethink; If it does, we can take action to fix the problem.
Dewey saw this as a desirable pattern underlying all investigations. According to him, we could increase our knowledge and power in all fields (although of course the paths followed, types of evidence, experimental methods, etc. were different in different fields). Since criticism played a fundamental role here, Dewey saw it as an inevitable social activity. This led him to pay great attention to institutions and their ways of working. It was also intertwined with the idea of democracy, to which he was deeply attached and on which he wrote a lot. He argued that the education of children should be based on this problem-solving approach he called “learning by doing” because it combines a full understanding of the importance of theory with practicality and encourages children to be creative on both levels; it would also give them general dexterity in all areas of human activity. Dewey’s thoughts on education had an impact around the world. At the time he began writing on education, education was almost everywhere thought of as something hard-disciplined upon a headstrong child at the expense of his will. The method of benefiting from the natural energy of the child had an extraordinary effect on the success of the educational process that Dewey proposed. Dewey is one of the first major, perhaps best, modernists in educational theory.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook