Selected Moments of the 20th Century

A work in progress edited by Daniel Schugurensky
Department of Adult Education, Community Development and Counselling Psychology,
The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT)

1909

Dewey publishes How We Think

In 1909, Dewey publishes How We Think, where he compared the "native and unspoiled attitude of childhood, marked by ardent curiosity, fertile imagination, and love of experimental inquiry" to the attitude of the scientific mind. In this book, Dewey argued that thinking is an active process involving experimentation and problem solving. He claimed that the thought process is really at work when there is a problem to be solved, a question to be answered, an ambiguity to be resolved. He proposed that we think following a five-step process: occurrence of a problem, analysis of the problem, formulation of hypothesis, experimentation and elaboration of ideas, and corroboration of the ideas. Although this process was not different from Bacon's seventeenth-century method of inductive reasoning, its pedagogical implications outlined by Dewey generated a debate on the methods and the missions of education, as well as a strong rejection of dogmatism and memorization in the classroom.

Source:

See Geiger, George R. (1958). John Dewey in perspective. New York: Oxford University Press.

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