John Dewey

American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer (1859–1952) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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John Dewey (/ˈdi/; October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer. He was one of the most prominent American scholars in the first half of the twentieth century.[7][8]

Quick facts: John Dewey, Born, Died, Alma mater, Chil...
John Dewey
Bust portrait of John Dewey, facing slightly left.
Born(1859-10-20)October 20, 1859
Burlington, Vermont, U.S.
DiedJune 1, 1952(1952-06-01) (aged 92)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Vermont
Johns Hopkins University
Children6, including Jane and Evelyn Dewey
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
Functional psychology
Process philosophy[2][3][4]
Doctoral studentsHu Shih, Tao Xingzhi,[5] Feng Youlan, Jiang Menglin, Lin Mosei
Main interests
Philosophy of education, epistemology, journalism, ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, metaphysics
Notable ideas
Reflective thinking[6]
Functional psychology
Immediate empiricism
Inquiry into Moscow show trials about Trotsky
Educational progressivism
Occupational psychosis

The overriding theme of Dewey's works was his profound belief in democracy, be it in politics, education, or communication and journalism.[9] As Dewey himself stated in 1888, while still at the University of Michigan, "Democracy and the one, ultimate, ethical ideal of humanity are to my mind synonymous."[10] Dewey considered two fundamental elements—schools and civil society—to be major topics needing attention and reconstruction to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality. He asserted that complete democracy was to be obtained not just by extending voting rights but also by ensuring that there exists a fully formed public opinion, accomplished by communication among citizens, experts and politicians.

Dewey was one of the primary figures associated with the philosophy of pragmatism and is considered one of the fathers of functional psychology. His paper "The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology", published in 1896, is regarded as the first major work in the (Chicago) functionalist school of psychology.[11] A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Dewey as the 93rd-most-cited psychologist of the 20th century.[12]

Dewey was also a major educational reformer for the 20th century.[7] A well-known public intellectual, he was a major voice of progressive education and liberalism.[13][14] While a professor at the University of Chicago, he founded the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where he was able to apply and test his progressive ideas on pedagogical method.[15][16] Although Dewey is known best for his publications about education, he also wrote about many other topics, including epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, art, logic, social theory, and ethics.

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