John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer who developed a theory of education that emphasised the importance of active learning and the integration of school and community life. His theories have had a significant impact on education, particularly in the areas of progressive education and experiential learning.
Here are some of Dewey’s key teaching theories:
Learning by doing: Dewey believed that learning is best achieved through active engagement with the world, rather than passive absorption of information. Teachers should therefore provide opportunities for students to explore, experiment, and discover, in order to promote active and engaged learning.
Experiential learning: Dewey emphasised the importance of experiential learning, where students learn by reflecting on their own experiences and applying what they have learned to new situations. Teachers should provide opportunities for students to engage in hands-on, real-world learning experiences, and encourage them to reflect on these experiences in order to develop deeper understanding and critical thinking skills.
Integrated curriculum: Dewey believed that learning should be integrated across different subject areas and should be connected to students’ lives outside of school. Teachers should aim to design learning experiences that are relevant to students’ lives and that help them to make connections between different subject areas and real-world issues.
Democratic classroom: Dewey believed that the classroom should be a democratic community, where students are encouraged to participate in decision-making and to collaborate with one another. Teachers should provide opportunities for students to engage in democratic processes, such as voting on classroom rules or working together to solve problems.
Problem-solving: Dewey believed that learning should be focused on real-world problems and challenges, rather than isolated facts and information. Teachers should provide opportunities for students to engage in problem-solving and critical thinking, and should encourage them to work collaboratively to find creative solutions.
Overall, Dewey’s theories emphasize the importance of active and experiential learning, integration across subject areas, democratic classroom practices, and problem-solving. By incorporating Dewey’s theories into their teaching, educators can help to create engaging and effective learning experiences that promote students’ growth and development.