7:30 PM on 11 Jul 2012 at The Wheatsheaf
with Andrew McGettigan
“What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children. Any other ideal is narrow and unlovely; acted upon it destroys our democracy.”
‘The School and Social Progress’ is the first lecture in John Dewey’s The School and Society (first published in 1900), which sets out the principles behind The University Elementary School in Chicago. Its pedagogy focused on collaborative, organised, productive activity.
“Verbal memory can be trained in committing tasks, a certain discipline of reasoning powers can be acquired through lessons in science and mathematics; but, after all, this is somewhat remote and shadowy compared with the training of attention and of judgement that is acquired in having to do things with a real motive behind and a real outcome ahead.” (pp. 8-9)
In response to rapid and thorough-going changes to domestic, commercial and industrial life, Dewey advocated the centrality of making to the curriculum: art, practical sciences and manual training. Its primary aim to introduce children to the processes and occupations by which society reproduces and maintains itself. Does such a school thereby escape a narrowly instrumental view of education and learning?
The School and Society can be found here: http://archive.org/details/schoolsociety00dewerich